Mozambique: Brown Meets With Donors
Two British Ministers, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) Gordon Brown, and the Minister for International Development, Hilary Benn, met in Maputo on Monday afternoon with representatives of the main donors and funding agencies to discuss the British initiative for global education.
Brown launched the initiative earlier in the day when, alongside Mozambican President Armando Guebuza, he announced that Britain would provide 15 billion US dollars worth of aid over the next ten years to help ensure that the target of guaranteeing universal primary education can be met by 2015.
This, Brown said, was intended to translate into reality the promises made by the G8 group of most industrialised nations at their summit in Scotland last year. The British government hopes to persuade other developed nations to follow its lead.
Sources from the British Department for International Development (DFID) told AIM that most of the donors represented in Maputo were present at the meeting. Brown told them that he is prepared to visit each of their capitals, and speak personally to each of their finance ministers, in order to persuade them to support the British initiative.
"We're keeping our promises, we're putting money on the table, and we want other G8 countries to do the same", one DFID source said.
Developing countries benefitting from the initiative will be expected to produce plans showing how they will use the money.
"We want developing countries to draw up ambitious, but realistic plans, knowing that the money will be there", said the DFID source.
The donors welcomed the British initiative - but some had reservations. One European diplomat suggested to AIM that it might be preferable for the money to be channelled - in Mozambique's case, at any rate - as general budget support, rather than earmarked specifically for education.