Historic emphasis on education in poor countries

The Government has proposed a substantial increase in the support provided by Norway for education in poor countries. This will mean an allocation of almost NOK 2.4 billion to education in 2015, an increase of NOK 550 million compared to 2014. ‘Norway is taking a leading role internationally in the efforts to achieve education for all,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

The Government has proposed a substantial increase in the support provided by Norway for education in poor countries. This will mean an allocation of almost NOK 2.4 billion to education in 2015, an increase of NOK 550 million compared to 2014. ‘Norway is taking a leading role internationally in the efforts to achieve education for all,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.  

‘Universal education is a human right, and it is a prerequisite for growth and development. Without education, there can be no development. We will place particular emphasis on girls’ education. Girls who receive an education marry later, have children later, have a better chance of getting a job, and have better health – as do their children. Education is key to making good choices later in life,’ said Brende. 

Currently, 58 million children worldwide do not attend school. Among those who are least likely to attend school are children affected by crisis and conflict, girls, and children with disabilities. Although the links between education and development are well known, efforts to promote education have lagged behind efforts in other fields. In sub-Saharan Africa, it is estimated that child mortality could have been reduced by as much as 40 percent if the children’s mothers had completed upper secondary education. 

Investment in stability, democracy and development

The Government will intensify its efforts to promote education in crisis- and conflict-affected environments, and will earmark NOK 100 million for this purpose.  

‘Millions of children are being deprived of their right to education because of the many complex and protracted humanitarian crises that we are now seeing. We must do all we can to prevent the creation of lost generations. Giving priority to education in crisis and conflict situations is an investment in stability, democracy and development. Our goal is to help ensure that one million more children affected by crisis and conflict receive a quality education by 2017,’ said Mr Brende. 

Norway’s funding for education will be channelled to countries that are in great need of assistance and that demonstrate that they have the political will to give priority to education. Funding will also be channelled to multilateral organisations that have achieved good results and that are working in accordance with Norwegian priorities, for example the Global Partnership for Education and Unicef. NGOs also play a key role in efforts to promote education, especially in fragile states and conflict areas. 

‘Over the last eight years, the share of the aid budget allocated to education has been almost halved. There is therefore a need for concerted action to renew our efforts in this area, which is so crucial for combating poverty. Since taking office in 2013, the Conservative–Progress Party Government has increased Norway’s support for education by a total of NOK 640 million. Norway is now taking a leading role internationally in the efforts to achieve education for all,’ said Mr Brende.