*2 Fast Track Initiative ( FTI )

A global initiative among low-income and donor countries and agencies to achieve "universal primary school completion by 2015," a goal which is included in the EFA Dakar Framework for Action and the MDGs. It was launched in 2002 under the initiative of the World Bank. At the Fourth FTI Partnership Meeting in November 2004, a decision was made to expand the scope of applicable recipient countries to include all low-income countries. Low-income countries that formulate a credible education sector plan for achieving its goals that are endorsed by donor countries and agencies, are recognized as FTI endorsed countries. Donors are expected to give priority in providing assistance to these countries. FIT countries with an insufficient number of donors at present can receive financial assistance for up to three years through the Catalytic Fund. For low-income countries who wish to receive FTI assistance, Education Program Development Fund ( EPDF ) has also been established to provide support in formulating an appropriate education sector plan. As of May 2005, the following thirteen countries have been approved as FTI countries: Burkina Faso, Niger, Guinea, Mauritania, Gambia, Mozambique, Ghana, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guyana, Vietnam, and Yemen. To most of these countries, Japan is providing support in the area of basic education.