Statement by UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown: “Nigerian Government joins Safe Schools Initiative with $10million commitment”

Mr Brown said:
“Today I met with President Goodluck Jonathan and the Nigerian Government has committed $10million to the Safe Schools Initiative – a programme to make sure children are protected when at school.
“More than 270 girls were abducted from a school in Chibok three weeks ago. The terrorist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility. The international community as a whole is supporting the Nigerian government’s determination to bring back our girls. 
“Because this is a problem that crosses national boundaries President Jonathan and I talked about an international partnership.
“We agreed that with global support, the priorities would be to first work together to locate the abducted girls, second to make all schools safe and third to give every Nigerian child the opportunity of education.
“We will work with the Nigerian Government over the next few weeks to develop a plan to get all of Nigeria’s 10.5 million out of school children into safe learning environments
“The Safe Schools Initiative established with the Nigerian business community, offered a $10 million starting donation, now doubled by the Nigerian Government. It has the support of the international business community through the Global Business Coalition for Education, which has circulated the call to action to the multinational members for support
“Concerned members of the public can give to the Safe Schools Initiative to ensure that schools in Nigeria are safe for girls and boys to attend.
“I believe that in the wake of these tragedies we are now firmly at a turning point for Nigeria where if the decisions are made to invest in education for girls we can radically transform the country’s schools system over the next two years making it accessible and safe.
“Today, US, UK, Chinese, and French support is being mobilised by the Nigerian government to locate the girls. I spoke to the US Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday asking him to extend the search into Cameron and Chad due to fears that the girls may have been dispersed across Africa.
“I was able to pass on messages of support from hundreds of thousands of members of the international community directly to President Jonathan.
“With many people asking what they can do to help, it is important for the safety of millions of girls and teachers in Nigeria that we take action to make schools safe in order to prevent and deter further terrorist action.
“The government of Nigeria and the United Nations will work to develop a new education plan to make it possible for the 10.5 million girls and boys who are not at school to have the chance of attending safe schools.
“I am confident that I can raise finance from agencies across the international community to help Nigeria achieve a turning point in the delivery of educational opportunity to girls. Our aim is that in the next two years, the 5 million girls who are not at school will be given the chance to enter education and be taught in safe environments.”


Watch the World Economic Forum on Africa closing press conference


Watch the Safe Schools Initiative Report
Visit the Safe Schools Fund