9 March 2018 | Canberra Times | Peter Graves

Thanks for Pope’s cartoon on International Women’s Day (CT,March 8, p.19), highlighting contrasts in our aid program. This was exemplified in Dakar in February, where world leaders were asked to replenish the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). It’s the only global fund dedicated solely to strengthening education systems in the world’s poorest countries.

The GPE helps promote girls’ education in Afghanistan – 20,010 girls are benefiting from GPE’s $US55.7 million grant aimed at increasing and sustaining their access to education.

At Dakar, $US3.1 billion was sought for supporting the GPE during 2018-20. The GPE had aimed to reach 870 million children, have 19 million children complete primary school and train 1.7 million teachers.

Australia was asked to contribute $200 million, but only managed $90 million of the reduced $US2.3 billion raised. That’s the financial contrast, where our aid for women’s development has fallen far short of what’s needed. Like the Australian government’s interest?

Peter Graves, Curtin