For Immediate Release

Office of Press Relations

Statement by Spokesperson Jessica Jennings

Each year on September 8, the international community celebrates International Literacy Day to recognize the transformative power of literacy and foundational learning. 

USAID works in more than 50 partner countries to ensure children and youth gain literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional skills that are foundational to future learning and lifelong success. A comprehensive ten-year study of these efforts found that from 2011 to 2021, USAID’s early grade reading programming became more effective over time, with second-generation programs reaching a larger number of learners and improving reading among a larger percentage of students. Under the Global Coalition on Foundational Learning, USAID is partnering with UNICEF, the World Bank, the United Kingdom’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, UNESCO, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to increase global commitments to improving foundational learning skills for all children. 

Today and everyday, we recognize foundational learning skills are fundamental to lifelong learning and building prosperous futures. The global community must continue to work together to accelerate progress towards addressing the learning poverty crisis.

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