The Ford Foundation announced Wednesday that it will commit $25-million over five years to end marriages for girls under age 18.
About 10 million girls worldwide are married off at a young age, often before they turn 15, the foundation said. Young brides are at higher risk of dropping out of school and suffering complications from pregnancy.
"Our ability to tackle the central issues affecting women and families in developing countries—from reproductive health and education to ending poverty and increasing opportunity—begins with the end of child marriage," Luis Ubiñas, Ford's president, said in a statement.
The new commitment expands on Ford's two years of work with Girls Not Brides, a coalition of more than 100 nonprofits trying to call attention to the issue. The foundation last year pledged l $3-million.
Grantees to date have included Child in Need Institute, in India; Hivos, in South Africa; and the Social Research Center, in Egypt.