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Nigeria receives higher education aid with lesser impact, says UNESCO


A picture taken on October 12, 2017 shows the logo of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris. / AFP PHOTO / JACQUES DEMARTHON

‘Uganda, South Africa, others get lower relief’
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has said that Nigeria despite receiving more than double the education aid it use to receive in the past, it is still home of the world largest out-of-school children.

The organisation, in a new policy paper by UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report, stated that aid to education grew by $1.5 billion (13 per cent) to a record of $13.4 billion between 2015 and 2016, its highest level since records began.

The United States (U.S.), United Kingdom (UK) and World Bank, the three largest single donors, accounted for almost half of aid funding to basic education.The report, titled “Aid to Education: A Return to Growth?”, regretted that education support has reached “all time high in 2016, yet, some sub-Saharan African countries received a smaller share for seven years in a row.”

But that was not the case with Nigeria, as further enquiries by The Guardian showed that the country’s total aid to education increased from $142 million to $155 million from 2015 to 2016.
According to Director of the GEM Report, Manos Antoninis, “The story for Nigeria is that its total aid to education increased from $142 million to $155 million from 2015 to 2016. It receives more than double the aid now than it did back in 2005, which was $70 million. Unlike many other countries, its aid to basic education also increased from $50 million to $68 million from 2015 to 2016.
“Nigeria still has the most children out of school in the world, and yet, less than half the aid it receives for education is for basic education. In 2005, however, compared to 2016, a far larger share of 65 per cent of its aid to education went to basic education.”

She said the sub-Saharan region with the biggest percentage loss is South Africa whose aid to basic education dropped by 60 per cent from 2015 to 2016 from $56 million to $22 million. Ghana’s dropped by 38 per cent from $92 million to $58 million.
“If you look further back to compare 2016 with 2005, Equatorial Guinea that was receiving $5 million, now receives none at all. Eritrea that was receiving $12 million, now receives only $1 million. Zambia was receiving $67 million and now receives only $26 million while Uganda that was receiving $81 million, but now receives only $33 million,” she further said.

“While aid disbursements to basic education have increased, they are still not allocated to countries most in need. The share of basic education aid to low income countries fell from 52 per cent in 2002 to 22 per cent in 2016. This reflects a long-term decline in the share allocated to sub-Saharan Africa, which is home to half of all out-of-school children worldwide. The region used to receive half of the total aid to basic education, but its share has continued the downward trend of the past seven years, reaching 24 per cent in 2016,” she further said.

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