Support for global education doubled

The Government is delivering on its promise to double support for global education. 'We propose a record high allocation of NOK 3.4 billion for aid for education in 2017. There are 263 million children and young people who do not go to school because of conflict or poverty. The world is on the brink of a global education crisis. We cannot afford to let this happen,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

The global youth unemployment rate is more than 25 %. Without a major upgrade of the education sector, by 2030 more than 1.5 billion people will only have primary education. These figures are from a recent report from the International Commission on Financing of Global Education Opportunity.

'In recent years, Norway has been at the forefront of efforts to push education higher up on the global agenda. Our aim is to realise the right to education of all children – regardless of gender or background. We will continue to increase our support for education efforts targeted at children and young people affected by war and conflict, and at children who experience discrimination of any kind. But attending school is not in itself enough, the quality of education also needs to be significantly improved. In order to give young people a chance in today's labour market, we also attach importance to vocational training and cooperation with the business sector,' said Mr Brende.

In 2013, the allocation for aid for education was NOK 1.7 billion. It has since increased steadily, and amounted to NOK 2.85 billion in 2016. In its budget proposal for next year, the Government proposes an increase of nearly NOK 550 million, bringing the total up to NOK 3.4 billion.

'Norway and other donors can provide funding and expertise, but the authorities in developing countries must also increase education sector financing. They must put an end to corruption, and make it easier for girls to complete upper secondary and higher education,' said Mr Brende.

Norway's aid for education is channelled through UN organisations such as Unicef (United Nations Children's Fund), Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), and a number of NGOs. Norway also cooperates directly with the authorities in several countries.