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US and Europe must help Afghanistan humanitarian crisis


Gordon Brown (former U.K. Prime Minister and U.N. Special Envoy for Global Education) told CNBC that everyone must work together in order to achieve the goals of the United Nations. $4.4 billion needed to address the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

He stated, “I’m asking Britain, Europe, and other parties involved in the matter, to convene a humanitarian pledge conference so that we raise four-and-a half billion.”

“The Middle East, most of the Islamic States will help. America must also do more. And at least, we can try to stop what’s really happening right in front our eyes. That is, emaciated people and children dying and not enough food.” he said.

CNBC spoke with Brown who, in 2012, was named U.N. special representative for global education. He said that Taliban leaders must agree to conditions and that funds are needed to make sure that all girls have equal access to education.

He stated that girls from Afghanistan were being told by the Taliban that they could return to school in March. However, they must offer them financial support.

Education crisis in the world

Most government have to spend money on healthcare and on social safety nets, which is essential but often comes at the price of education.

Gordon Brown

U.N. special Envoy to Global Education

It’s not given priority. This is what I believe everyone who has seen over the past three years can see. Education aid has seen a reduction of around 2 billion. That is roughly a 10% reduction in aid. “Most governments have spent on health. They’ve also had to invest on social protection. But it’s often at the price of education,” he stated.

“We need to talk about rebuilding better. We should also be discussing how to catch up. Children should now be returning back at school in order for them not only make up any gaps, but we should invest more. We are actually facing education cuts both nationally and internationally. That’s why we have the World Bank and other organizations talking about it. This is why. [U.N. Secretary-General]Antonio Guterres called this September a special summit in education,” he said.

CNBC interviewed Brown who was the U.K. Prime Minister from 2007-10. He said that 268,000,000 children had been out of school since before the pandemic and that half the children in the world don’t have the basic literacy and numeracy skills at age 10.

He stated that Africa was a particularly affected region by global education crisis.

“Africa is probably probably, and it’s tragic to have to admit this. Africa probably ranks about one hundred years behind other countries in education achievement and standards. This is because a large number of children don’t attend primary school. However, once you’ve finished primary school your opportunities of getting on to secondary school is very slim. There are so few higher education options and no further education available.” he stated.

Building highly skilled workers

CNBC’s Brown stated that countries with skilled workers will be the most successful.

“I feel that we need to prove to low-income countries, middle-income nations and high-income countries that education is key for their success as they attempt to achieve higher-income status,” he stated.

Gordon Brown, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education speaks out about the May 11th launch of the International Finance Facility for Education.

EuropaNewswire/Gado | Archive Photos | Getty Images

The export-led model of economic growth, which relied on unskilled labor, isn’t the best model I see for the future of lower- and mid-income countries. He said that it’s a well-educated workforce and that is dependent on good schools and colleges.

Brown is the U.K.’s longest serving finance minister (1997-2007). He said that the international community should “respect our promise to invest more in education.”

“I have proposed the so-called International Finance Facility for Education“This is a novel way to use guarantees that rich countries can provide to enable the World Bank or other regional development banks, to invest more in education,” he stated.

His comments included that “it would be an enormous increase in education aid, and we have to do something similar to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.”