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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 August 2005, 23:22 GMT 00:22 UK
140m to improve Asian education
Asian girls
The UN wants all children to go to school by 2015
A charity has pledged to give 140m ($250m) to help improve education in the poorest parts of Asia.

Plan International estimates that 350 million, or half, of the children in the continent are deprived of "basic needs", such as literacy and numeracy.

Its primary school projects are in support of the United Nations' plan for universal basic education by 2015.

Plan's UK chief executive, Marie Staunton, said help was needed to end a "cycle of poverty".

'Missing out'

Girls in particular in developing countries lack schooling, according to the UN.

Plan's own study suggests that more than 350 million Asian children live in absolute poverty, with half of the continent's families failing to benefit from economic growth and globalisation.

The charity has pledged to invest $1bn (558m) on anti-poverty projects, including $250m on education.

This will include making schools more accessible and welcoming for girls and telling their parents of the value of education.

Eastern and south-eastern Asian states are expected to achieve 100% primary school enrolment by 2015.

But southern Asian countries, except Sri Lanka, are thought unlikely to do so.

The area also accounts for 20% of the world's out-of-school children, many of whom work.

Ms Staunton said: "By failing to educate girls we are perpetuating a cycle of poverty.

"Mothers educated to primary school standard produce smaller families who are better off.

"Children born into poverty need education so they can work their way out of poverty and realise their potential."

The charity said it would raise the money over the next 10 years, from grants and donations.


SEE ALSO:
UN 'will miss education target'
09 Nov 04 |  In Depth
Girls miss out on going to school
06 Nov 03 |  Education
UK 'missing global school target'
06 Nov 03 |  Education


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