Donors pledge US$2.3 billion to financing education at GPE Conference


Donors have pledged US$2.3 billion towards financing education and addressing the global learning crisis. They made the pledge at the just concluded Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Financing Conference held in Dakar, Senegal. gathered that the proposed donation is a substantial increase in funding compared to the US$1.3 billion contributed over the past three years. In addition, several donor countries have indicated their intention to pledge further funds over the course of the financing period.

The biggest source of education financing comes from developing countries themselves. More than 50 developing countries announced they would increase public expenditures for education for the period 2018 to 2020 to a total of US$110 billion, compared to US$80 billion between 2015 and 2017.

The Global Partnership for Education’s funding model is a catalyst for education investment, working hand in hand with governments of low-income and lower middle-income countries to strengthen their education systems. It supports governments to develop robust national education plans so that funds can then be channeled into their priority areas with confidence that they will contribute to improved quality of education for all children.

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The Board Chair of the GPE, Julia Gillard said that it encourages developing countries to increase their share of education spending to 20% of their overall budget. Gillard, who is a former Prime Minister of Australia added that over two-thirds of such countries who committed to the donations will have reached that goal by 2020.

“I am energized by the generosity and determination we have seen here today to ensure every child and young person has access to a quality education. After today’s commitments, we are seeing a clear trend to seriously address the global learning crisis. The success of the conference marks a turning point for global political support for education financing and brings a new breadth and depth to our partnership.” said Gillard.

At the conference, the United Arab Emirates joined GPE, becoming the first Arab donor and pledging US$100 million. Senegal, in addition to pledging to increase its own expenditure on education, became GPE’s first African donor. The Netherlands and Spain renewed their involvement, and China attended for the first time.

The Chief Executive Officer of GPE, Alice Albright hoped that the support of attendees and donors would immensely impact up to 78% of out-of-school children in the world.

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In her words, “The unprecedented support today means that the Global Partnership for Education can continue to focus on the most excluded and vulnerable children and work to extend assistance to up to 89 countries, which are home to 870 million children and 78 percent of the world’s out-of-school children.”

Among dignitaries present at the event were ten current and three former heads of state and more than 60 ministers across Africa and beyond, making this the highest-level education financing event of its kind.

Notably, was the presence of French President, Emmanuel Macron, who co-hosted the event with his Senegalese counterpart, Macky Sall. That marked the first time an education financing conference has been hosted by a G7 leader and the president of a developing country

The conference was sponsored by: Ecobank, the Pan African Bank; Foundation Sonatel; and Altissia, and supported by Girls Not Brides; Global Campaign for Education; Global Citizen; Malala Fund; ONE; Plan International; RESULTS; and Women Deliver.

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