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 (35 billion euros) 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.
“In fact, and unfortunately, $39 billion is spent on (the) military in only eight days,” she said. Malala, who in 2012 survived after being shot in the head for her support of girls’ schools, 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.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2015.