Protecting children in conflict

Conflict can have a devastating impact on young children and their ability to access even the most basic education.

I am proud that the previous Labour Government more than trebled the UK aid budget and helped get some 40 million more children into school and I was pleased that subsequently the UK committed to provide access to education for up to a further 29 million children in developing countries by 2018.

The UK has committed 30% of Official Development Assistance to fragile states by 2014-15; this is an increase from £1.8 billion in 2011-12 to £3.4 billion 2014-15. Also, in 2014, the UK committed to give £300million over four years to the Global Partnership for Education, who support work in conflict-affected areas.

I support the work of my Shadow Frontbench colleagues in holding the Government to account on development issues. There is no place for complacency, as an estimated 57 million primary school children globally are still not in school and 28.5 million of these children live in conflict-affected areas. The government needs to work closely with organisations such as War Child on this issue and encourage other Governments and civil society groups to meet the urgent need for action.

We should continue to work towards a world where all children, irrespective of their background receive the sort of education that we in the UK would want for our own children.

I will follow this issue closely as the World Humanitarian Summit approaches in May.