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Michelle Obama unveils girls’ education initiative during London trip

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U.S. first lady unveils a $200 million UK-U.S. partnership in global education

Girls who get "quality education" are better able to raise healthy children, earn a decent living, Obama's office says

Special attention and portions of the funds will be devoted "to countries affected by conflict and crisis"

CNN —  

First lady Michelle Obama, on a visit to London on Tuesday, announced a new partnership between the United States and United Kingdom to improve girls’ access to education around the world.

The two countries are launching “a nearly $200 million partnership to continue their collective support for adolescent girls’ education,” according to a news release from Obama’s office. Obama met with Prime Minister David Cameron to officially announce the initiative.

Special attention and portions of the funds will be devoted “to countries affected by conflict and crisis,” with the Democratic Republic of the Congo set to receive $180 million over five years, benefiting “more than 755,000 girls aged 10 to 18,” according to the press release.

And the United States and United Kingdom will collaborate to improve girls’ access to education by enrolling students in accelerated primary school programs, reducing barriers to school access and mobilizing parental and community support. Both countries will also try to improve the quality of materials used in teaching and learning, and to improve school governance.

The United States and United Kingdom will share data on adolescent girls’ education from various advocacy and academic organizations, including the University of Cambridge and Georgetown University, and “produce research and provide guidance and technical support” through USAID’s Education in Conflict and Crisis Network.

Education makes girls ‘more likely’ to raise educated families

Additionally, the partnership will encourage other advocacy organizations to “collaborate and share community-based solutions” to assist vulnerable girls, with the U.S. Peace Corps and U.K.’s Campaign for Female Education set to share “best practices” developed based on their experience.

The press release said that “62 million girls are out of school around the world.”

And it said that “when a girl receives a quality education, she is more likely to earn a decent living, raise a healthy, educated family and improve the quality of life for herself, her family and her community.”

The release said that “girls’ attendance in secondary school is also correlated with later marriage, later childbearing, lower maternal and infant mortality rates, lower birth rates, lower rates of HIV/AIDs and significantly higher earning power.”

As part of her “Let Girls Learn” initiative, Obama also met with students in London to discuss how the two countries are working together to expand access to girls education around the world.

Earlier Tuesday, Obama met with Prince Harry at Kensington Palace, where they talked about “Let Girls Learn” and their interest in supporting veterans and their families.

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