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    Afghanistan receives $55.7m GPE grant

    KABUL (PAN): The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) has approved a $55.7 million grant for Afghanistan, UNICEF and the Afghan Ministry of Education said on Tuesday.

    An international consortium of countries, the GPE is working to provide financial and technical assistance to education programmes in conflict, post-conflict and developing countries around the globe.

    The ministry hailed the grant as reflective of international confidence in the Afghan government's plans for the development of the education sector and its capacity to carry out those programmes.

    A joint statement from UNICEF and the ministry called the announcement by the GPE Secretariat the culmination of months of work led by the Ministry of Education.

    President Hamid Karzai said: "Education is crucial to ensuring the future peace, stability and prosperity of Afghanistan. Membership in the GPE and the award of this grant illustrate the international community's faith in the Afghan government's leadership in this crucial sector."

    The strategy devised by the ministry will cover a range of initiatives, with focus on accelerating girls' attendance at school by working with community leaders, recruiting and training additional female teachers.

    Directly implemented by the ministry, UNICEF will supervise GPE programme. In this role, UNICEF provided technical support to the development of the GPE proposal and, at the implementation stage, will support the government in ensuring the monitoring of activities and fund utilisation.