Today, nearly 70 million children around the world are still denied access to a quality education – and more than half of these children are girls. Education reduces world hunger, helps eradicate global poverty, improves health outcomes, promotes global security, and advances economic growth. Educated children grow up to earn higher wages, contribute to stronger economies, support healthier and more prosperous families, and create more stable and secure societies.
The United States’ investment in ensuring access to quality education has been critical in increasing the number of children in school around the world, with an additional 52 million children enrolling in primary school between 1999 and 2008. Much work remains to be done, however, and without sustained commitments from countries like the United States, millions of children around the world will never know the joy of going to school. In fact, if current trends continue, there could be more children out of school in 2015 than are enrolled today. Despite this alarming fact, the Obama Administration has not prioritized education in their global development strategy.
You can speak out for millions of children by calling on President Obama to make education a development priority.
Investing in education has a lasting impact on child and maternal health, economic development, and global security. It is imperative that President Obama include education in his Global Development Strategy if he is to meet any of his development goals.
Mr. President, we urge you to include education in your global development strategy.
While we recognize the importance of your three signature development initiatives – the Global Health Initiative, Feed the Future, and the Global Climate Change Initiative – we believe each of these development priorities go hand in hand with investing in basic education. For example:
▪ Children of mothers with a primary education are 50 percent more likely to receive life-saving immunizations.
▪ The education of women is responsible for a 50 percent reduction in child malnutrition – greater than any single factor, including direct food aid
▪ Educating girls and women is one of the best ways of ensuring that communities are better able to adapt and be less vulnerable to extreme weather events and climate change.
Mr. President, education is the path out of poverty for millions of children worldwide, and we urge you to include education in your global development strategy. We can’t leave behind another generation of children. The world can’t afford it.