Global 'Malala' war chest for girls' education launched

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari today announced a USD 10-million donation for a global war chest to educate all girls by 2015 set up in the name of Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban for campaigning for girls' education.

The "Malala Fund for Girls' Right to Education" aims at raising billions of dollars to ensure that all girls go to school by 2015 in line with United Nations Millennium goals.

Pakistan Education Minister Waqas Akram signed the agreement with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization head Irina Bokova.

"A young determined daughter of my country was attacked by the forces of darkness," Zardari said at the high-profile "Stand Up For Malala" event at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

"We are facing two forces in the country; Malala represents the forces of peace and we are fighting with the forces of darkness, hatred and violence," he said.

The ceremony drew French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, former British premier Gordon Brown, the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, and the former presidents of Finland and Chile.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the EU's top diplomat Catherine Ashton send special videotaped messages of support.

The 15-year-old schoolgirl, who is recovering in a British hospital after being brutally attacked on her school bus on October 9, will herself join the campaign when she is better.

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