IMPACT
06/28/2016 04:39 pm ET Updated Jul 29, 2016

Michelle Obama Pledges $100 Million For Girls' Education In Morocco

"I am sitting here now as the U.S. first lady, talking to you, because of my education."
US first lady Michelle Obama smiles as she meets Moroccan young women following the 'Let Girls Learn' Program on June 28, 201
FADEL SENNA via Getty Images
US first lady Michelle Obama smiles as she meets Moroccan young women following the 'Let Girls Learn' Program on June 28, 2016 in the Western Moroccan city of Marrakesh. US First Lady Michelle Obama began a two day visit to Morocco to participate in a CNN-moderated conversation with adolescent girls on the challenges they face in getting a quality education. / AFP / FADEL SENNA

MARRAKESH, Morocco, June 28 (Reuters) - U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, her mother and daughters Sasha and Malia were joined by Meryl Streep in Morocco’s Marrakesh on Tuesday on a six-day tour to try to promote girls’ education.

More than a third of Morocco’s population of 34 million is illiterate - one of the highest rates in North Africa, and the rate is higher for women at 41 percent, official data shows.

“I am sitting here now as the U.S. first lady, talking to you, because of my education,” Michelle Obama told a dozen girls from different towns.

Actress and advocate for girls’ education Meryl Streep, right, and U.S. first lady Michelle Obama applaud after talks w
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Actress and advocate for girls’ education Meryl Streep, right, and U.S. first lady Michelle Obama applaud after talks with teenage girls in Marrakech, Morocco, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama was visiting Morocco to promote for the “Let Girls Learn” in the North African kingdom, where only 36 percent of girls continue school beyond the primary level. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a U.S. government foreign aid agency, announced during her visit the allocation of $100 million to be spent on 100,000 Moroccan students, half of whom will be teenage girls.

The funds come from $450 million given by the MCC last year to boost education and employablity in Morocco.

Michelle Obama stepped up her campaign for girls' education after Islamist group Boko Haram seized 276 girls from their school in Nigeria in 2014 and she highlighted their plight through a Twitter hashtag, #BringBackOurGirls.

She spent Sunday and Monday in Liberia, where she visited a U.S. Peace Corps site and a school with President and Nobel Peace laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, promoting Let Girls Learn, a U.S. government initiative begun with her husband in 2015. (Editing by Louise Ireland)

  • President Barack Obama joins others in looking out the window of Air Force One on the final approach into Havana.
    Pete Souza/The White House
    President Barack Obama joins others in looking out the window of Air Force One on the final approach into Havana.
  • Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Malia and Sasha greet dignitaries upon arriving in Havana.
    Pete Souza/The White House
    Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Malia and Sasha greet dignitaries upon arriving in Havana.
  • Obama greets people in Old Havana.
    Pete Souza/The White House
    Obama greets people in Old Havana.
  • Obama waves to people as he enters a restaurant in Havana.
    Pete Souza/The White House
    Obama waves to people as he enters a restaurant in Havana.
  • Obama walks through Old Havana.
    Pete Souza/The White House
    Obama walks through Old Havana.
  • The Obama family and Marian Robinson take a walking tour of Old Havana. Eusebio Leal Spengler, Historian of Havana,
    Chuck Kennedy/The White House
    The Obama family and Marian Robinson take a walking tour of Old Havana. Eusebio Leal Spengler, Historian of Havana, leads the tour of the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes del Castillo Monument. The statue honors the Cuban planter, also known as Padre de la Patria (father of the country), who freed his slaves and made the declaration of Cuban independence.The statue honors the Cuban planter, also known as Padre de la Patria (father of the country), who freed his slaves and made the declaration of Cuban independence.
  • First lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Malia and Sasha tour La Catedral de la Virgen Maria de la Concepcion Inmaculada in O
    Pete Souza/The White House
    First lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Malia and Sasha tour La Catedral de la Virgen Maria de la Concepcion Inmaculada in Old Havana.
  • Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk to the motorcade after touring Old Havana, Cuba.
    Pete Souza/The White House
    Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk to the motorcade after touring Old Havana, Cuba.
  • Patrons at a Havana hotel wave as the Obama family walks past.
    Pete Souza/The White House
    Patrons at a Havana hotel wave as the Obama family walks past.
  • Obama greets hotel workers in Havana.
    Pete Souza/The White House
    Obama greets hotel workers in Havana.
  • Obama and White House staffer Ben Rhodes talk with Cardinal Jamie Ortega while touring La Catedral de la Virgen Maria de la C
    Pete Souza/The White House
    Obama and White House staffer Ben Rhodes talk with Cardinal Jamie Ortega while touring La Catedral de la Virgen Maria de la Concepcion Inmaculada in Old Havana.
  • Obama shares a laugh with his daughter Malia as she interprets in Spanish for a restauranteur in Havana.
    Pete Souza/The White House
    Obama shares a laugh with his daughter Malia as she interprets in Spanish for a restauranteur in Havana.
  • Obama laughs while having dinner with his family.
    Pete Souza/The White House
    Obama laughs while having dinner with his family.
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