The United Kingdom has unveiled a new multiwindow challenge fund that aims to encourage innovative ideas for giving marginalized girls in the poorest countries in Asia and Africa primary and secondary education.
Dubbed the ”Girls Education Challenge,” the program aims to help up to a million girls go to school in the poorest countries, including Bangladesh, South Sudan and Nigeria, as a way to tackle poverty.
The challenge fund will be worth up to £355 million ($557 million) until 2015 and will come from the U.K.’s existing aid budget.
Under the program, the U.K. government will support non-governmental organizations, businesses and charities — especially new organizations and partners — with the most innovative and cost-effective ideas to get girls into good quality education.
The program will have two funding windows: “step change projects,” for which competitive bidding will be undertaken in the spring of 2012, and innovative projects, which will be awarded in January 2013.
The challenge will prioritize projects that will provide a combination of support to girls and young women and get more marginalized girls into school. Examples are scholarships that also enable girls to travel safely to school and find work when they graduate.
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