Claims foreign aid cuts hurt girls' education

ABOUT 220,000 poor girls in developing countries could miss out on school because of Australian foreign aid cuts, an aid lobby group has claimed.

The Plan International analysis of federal data showed despite commitments to help poverty-stricken girls, the 20% cut in foreign aid in the next financial year could hit the poor.

PI chief executive Ian Wishart said the cuts could mean 220,000 fewer girls would be enrolled in school and 400,000 fewer girls would be immunised.

The analysis came as Foreign Minister Julie Bishop confirmed Australia would provide $250 million over five years for vaccines in developing nations.

The government has provided the funding for the past five years, with Ms Bishop said the funding would help "Australia's closest neighbours" maintain existing immunisation programs.



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