Cut '8 days of military spending' for universal education: Malala

By AFP
Published: July 7, 2015
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Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai speaks at the Oslo Summit on Education for Development at Oslo Plaza in Oslo, Norway, on July, 7, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai speaks at the Oslo Summit on Education for Development at Oslo Plaza in Oslo, Norway, on July, 7, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

OSLO: Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai on Tuesday urged world leaders to cut “eight days of military spending” to give all children access to 12 years of free education.

About $39 billion would be needed each year to fund the schooling, according to an estimate from the laureate’s non-profit group the Malala Fund.

“It may appear as a huge number but the reality is it is not much at all,” Malala said at a UN education summit in Oslo, as she returned to the city for the first time since picking up the Peace Prize with child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi in December last year.

Read: Malala, Sharmeen named in NYT’s Women of Impact list

“In fact, and unfortunately, $39 billion is spent on (the) military in only eight days,” she said.

Norway’s Foreign Minister Borge Brende (L-R), Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai pose for a photo during the Oslo Summit on Education for Development at Oslo Plaza in Oslo, Norway, on July, 7, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Malala, who in 2012 survived after being shot in the head for her support of girls’ schools in Pakistan, met in June with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim to discuss the coming package of official Sustainable Development Goals the United Nations plans to release later this year.

A meeting is scheduled in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, next week to find ways to finance the new targets.

“My message is that in these goals secondary education would be ensured,” said the child activist, who turns 18 this week.

“The money to send each child to primary and secondary education for twelve years for free is already there,” she added.

In September the UN will weigh proposals for which targets countries should achieve over the next 15 years, which will replace the Millenium Development Goals created in 2000.

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A report released on Monday by the UN said the effort had helped lift millions out of poverty, as the number of people living in extreme poverty declined by more than half between 1990 and 2015, from 1.9 billion to 836 million.

In the same period, the number of children dying before their fifth birthday also fell by more than half, dropping from 90 to 43 deaths per 1,000 live births.

“But progress has been uneven across regions and countries, leaving significant gaps,” the UN said in a statement.

“Conflicts remain the biggest threat to human development, with fragile and conflict-affected countries typically experiencing the highest poverty rates,” it said

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Reader Comments (2)

  • Jul 7, 2015 - 8:38PM

    A big global shame on Pakistan for miserably failing MDG or Millennium Development Goals they signed in front of the other countries. Many countries that met the goals have benefited in major reduction in poverty, health, birthrate, quality of life for the poor and much more. Only Pakistan goes in the opposite direction due to massive corruption and incompetent and illiterate leadership both at National and Provincial level. NCHD was taking Pakistan ahead of time in meeting MDG2015 from 2002 to 2007. I am one of the private sector founding directors of NCHD. After 2007 political volleyball or games were played by Pakistan leadership with no will to meet the MDG or the constitutional requirement of EFA under Article 25A. False promises and big speeches of high % on education budget to get votes but nothing delivered and no will. Maybe the General Raheel Sharif should shame the civil government by committing some 4% to 8% of their military budget to Basic Education and supporting NCHDRecommend

  • Pakistani
    Jul 7, 2015 - 11:38PM

    why don’t u stop your drama for 8 days?Recommend

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