KARACHI, Pakistan — Under a new program announced by former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, families of Pakistan's three million poorest children will receive monetary stipends if their child attends school.
The scheme, named Waseela-e-Taleem, was announced in Islamabad by Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari and Brown, who is the special UN envoy for global education. According to the BBC, the program will be funded by the World Bank and the UK, and would pay families $2 a month for each child in school. Brown was in Pakistan to mark Malala Day, a day of action in support of girls' education.
Malala Yousufzai, a 15-year-old schoolgirl was gunned down by the Taliban in Pakistan's Swat region last month. Doctors in Birmingham, where Malala is seeking treatment, say that she is making progress.
According to a recent UN report, Pakistan has the second worst global rate of children out of school.
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"We now must deliver," Brown wrote in an opinion piece on CNN.com. "But a more active, more engaged and more determined Pakistani people can ensure that education for all is no longer a slogan but a reality."
However, in Malala's hometown of Mingora, her classmates were unable to honor her publicly, as the threat of the Taliban looms as bright as ever.
“We did not organise any open event because our school and its students still face a security threat," school principal Mariam Khalid told AFP.