£16m cash match for African Women
The Government has promised to match £16 million of public donations to Red Nose Day to help Comic Relief transform the lives of more than half a million of the poorest girls and women in Africa.
The donation, through the Department for International Development, will help Comic Relief provide care for 160,000 expectant and new mothers for five years.
It will also enable 10,000 girls to go to school and improve literacy and numeracy for 140,000 children, help 50,000 women farmers improve their businesses, and protect promote rights for 100,000 women and girls.
The money will also help reduce violence and harmful traditional practices against women and girls, such as genital mutilation
International Development Secretary Justine Greening said last night: "Red Nose Day rightly holds a special place in the British public's heart. Generous public donations tonight, combined with our matched funding, will help to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of girls and women in Africa.
"This isn't only the right thing to do, it's also the smart thing to do. When girls and women are locked out of society, meaningful progress and development are impossible.
"Investing in girls and women is the only way to realise long-term, meaningful change that can transform communities and whole countries."
The Government said it would also give Comic Relief the equivalent of whatever VAT is paid on sales of the Red Nose Day single One Way Or Another (Teenage Kicks), a mix of the Blondie and The Undertones 1978 hits by One Direction.