Literacy and Adult Education

Today, one in five adults is still not literate and two-thirds of them are women.  Also, 75 million children are out of school.

UNESCO has been at the forefront of global literacy efforts since its foundation in 1946.  It is dedicated to keeping literacy high on national, regional and international agendas.  However, with some 771 million adults lacking minimum literacy skills, literacy for all remains an elusive target.

"Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope.  It is a tool for daily life in modern society.  It is a bulwark against poverty and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics, and factories.  Literacy is a platform for democratization and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity.  Especially for girls and women, it is an agent of family health and nutrition.  For everyone everywhere, literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman, and child can realize his or her full potential." (Kofi Annan)

UNESCO’s literacy programmes aim to create a literate world and promote literacy for all.  Within this framework, UNESCO Cairo office has been working on:

The Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE)

The Capacity Building Project

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