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Rich nations fail to come up with aid

HOPES of changing the lives of the estimated 125 million children who do not attend school suffered a setback last week when world leaders failed to pledge the aid needed to kick-start an approved action plan.

Leaders at the G8 summit in Kananaskis in Western Canada once again balked at committing hard cash, despite praising plans for universal primary schooling drawn up by the World Bank.

Their inaction risks squandering unprecedented political momentum behind education for all, campaigners said.

"It sends an uncertain signal to developing countries struggling to get political support to deliver good educational services," said Oliver Buston of Oxfam.

Hopes for raising the estimated $3billion (pound;2bn) a year needed to get the plan off the ground now rest with the next meeting of the bank's development committee in Washington in October and a meeting of G8 donors planned for November.

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