New research by Chris Murray at the University of Washington gives us powerful evidence of the importance of achieving MDG 2 -- education for all. Murray found that half the reduction in child deaths over the past 40 years can be attributed to better education of girls. For every one-year increase in the average education of reproductive-age women, a country experienced a 9.5 percent decrease in child deaths.
Fifty countries have already achieved universal primary education, but there are still 70 million school-aged children who are out-of-school - more than half are girls. Girls also lag behind boys in completing school. This is unacceptable. World Bank President Bob Zoellick just announced an additional $750 million in IDA support over the next five years to help girls and boys - mostly in Africa - to get in school, stay in school and learn.