Over the past decade, African countries have seen significant growth rates and extreme poverty has dropped by more than half since 1990; these facts are seldom reported. Developing countries have been the architects of this progress, but donors like the U.K. have also played a major role because research found that progress occurred alongside support from external donors.
Investing in health and education is crucial for economic development to take hold, but UNESCO identified a worrying global trend showing donors were allocating less aid money to education. If this downward shift continues, the progress that has been achieved to date will be lost. Only the United States and the World Bank give more to education than the United Kingdom. Under the leadership of the new Secretary of State for International Development, the U.K. can play a leading role in global education by bolstering its commitment at the Global Partnership for Education's replenishment conference in February.