Sound investment

World Bank pledges $2.5 billion to educate adolescent girls

US First Lady Michelle Obama speaks during a "Let Girls Learn" event. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim announced that the World Bank was pledging $2.5 billion over 5 years to educate and empower adolescent girls. The announcement, made at the Let Girls Learn event during the World Bank Group-IMF Spring Meetings, was followed by a call to action from First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama. “If half the population is devalued, abused and oppressed … sustainable development will not be possible,” said Obama.

About 75 percent of the investments are expected to be from IDA, the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries, and will be invested largely in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, which have the highest numbers of out-of-school girls. 62 million girls worldwide are not in school, half of them adolescents, and a World Bank study has found that every year of secondary school education correlates with an 18 percent increase in a girl’s future earning power. Research has shown that better educated women are more likely to be healthy, to work, to marry at a later age, to give birth to fewer children, and to provide better health care and education for their children.

Read the full story at ABC News.

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