Mitchell Unveils UK Education Support for NWFP

    Young Pakistani girls reading books. Approximately 3 million children in Pakistan will receive free textbooks under a new program unveiled by U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell. Photo by: Curt Carnemark / World Bank

    Approximately three million children in the province of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, formerly the North West Frontier Province, will receive free textbooks under a new program unveiled June 10 by U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell during his visit to Pakistan.

    In addition to providing textbooks, the 8.13 million pound (USD12 million) program also seeks to encourage some 300,000 girls in the province to attend school by giving them a monthly allowance.

    The U.K. Department of International Development will lead the program with the support of the Australian Agency for International Development, which is providing 6.87 million for the initiative.

    “Pakistan is facing an education emergency. The facts are shocking. Half the adult population – and two thirds of women - are illiterate,” Mitchell said in Peshawar, the provincial capital. “DFID is committed to supporting the Government of Pakistan in achieving its education goals and speeding up progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.”

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    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.