Developing Countries: Schools

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 26th October 2020.

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Photo of Alexander Stafford Alexander Stafford Conservative, Rother Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that children in developing countries return to school safely during the covid-19 pandemic.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK is committed to supporting children in developing countries to return to school when it is safe to do so. Through the FCDO's wider education programme response to the pandemic, we have worked with partner countries to ensure they have the knowledge and resources to facilitate a safe return. For example, we have adapted our bilateral education programmes in 18 countries to provide child protection, continuity of learning (e.g. through radio and home learning kits) and to help schools prepare to re-open safely.

The UK is partnering with Kenya to co-host the 2021 Global Partnership for Education (GPE) financing summit, and as the largest donor, supported establishment of a $500 million accelerated funding window to support countries maintain basic education and put in place key safety measures. As the largest donor to the global fund for education in emergencies Education Cannot Wait, we have supported establishment of a COVID-19 emergency response funding window supporting grants for 33 countries and territories, funding activity including key context-specific safety measures such as hygiene information campaigns and upgraded water and sanitation facilities. We have also provided £5.3 million of new UK funding to UNHCR to enable more than 5500 teachers provide vital education for children in 10 refugee-hosting countries during this critical period.

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