News and Events: Press releases

Global Partnership for Education Calls for Increased Funding to Fight Global Education Crisis

This post originally appeared on the Global Partnership for Education site on 25 September 2013.

New York City, September 25, 2013 — Chief Executive Officer Alice Albright announced today that the Global Partnership for Education will work with all partners to mobilize billions in additional funding to educate children in some of the world’s poorest countries.

“We need to address the global education crisis with utmost urgency. There has been good progress over the past decade, but 57 million children are still not in school. Over half of them are extremely difficult to reach due to conflict and humanitarian emergencies. We need to work harder to reach them and we need more funding to finish this work,” Albright said at a high-level Learning for All Ministerial Roundtable during the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

“The Global Partnership plays a crucial role in driving the mobilization of additional resources for basic and secondary education through the GPE Fund, bilateral and domestic funding,” Albright said. “In 2013 alone we have received funding requests of US$1.2 billion from many of our 59 developing country partners who are strongly committed to education.”

The Global Partnership for Education is now gearing up for its second replenishment with the support of all its partners. “The European Union is committed not only to supporting education, but also to making sure we do it well together with others. I’m happy to announce that the European Union will be hosting the second Replenishment Conference of the Global Partnership for Education in June 2014 in Brussels,” said Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development.

The global education crisis is further exacerbated by a significant reduction in financing for basic education. External aid to basic education is dropping faster than any other sector – down 14 percent between 2009 and 2011. “This is not acceptable,” Albright said. “We will work with all our partners to ensure that every child has access to a good education so they can be healthier, have higher incomes, and have an opportunity to change their lives for the better.”

The Learning for All Ministerial Roundtable was chaired by U.N. Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, who along with the Global Partnership for Education and many other partners renewed the political momentum for global education and highlighted the need for education financing.

Prior to the Roundtable, Albright and representatives from donor countries, private foundations, multilateral organizations, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, teachers’ organizations, and the private sector met with the ministers of education from Afghanistan, Chad, Myanmar, Pakistan, Timor-Leste and Somalia to declare and renew commitments to get these nations’ children in school and learning by the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals at the end of 2015.

Over the past months, the GPE Secretariat coordinated intensive in-country workshops with relevant stakeholders in these six countries to identify the best ways to accelerate progress in getting all children in school and learning. The initiative is under the umbrella of the United Nation’s Global Education First Initiative launched by the U.N. Secretary-General one year ago.

During the World Bank Spring Meetings in April 2013, the GPE Secretariat participated in the first round of the Learning for All Ministerial Meetings, which had focused on Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Nigeria, Yemen, and South Sudan. It had been agreed that GPE would help convene global-level follow-up meetings to drive progress and bring additional countries into this process.

How the Global Partnership Works for Children
GPE is the only multilateral partnership solely devoted to getting all children in school for a good quality education. Its partners include developing countries, multilateral organizations, donors, the private sector, teachers, civil society/NGOs, and private foundations. GPE’s approach is different because it convenes and builds consensus on education issues – at the global and country levels – to help its nearly 60 developing country partners develop effective education sector plans, and promote aid that is coordinated and aligned with these plans.

In the past decade the Global Partnership and its partners have achieved impressive results, including:

- An additional 22 million children in school.
- More girls completing primary school in GPE countries with 70 per cent in 2011 compared to 55 per cent in 2002; in 21 GPE countries as many girls as boys finish primary school.
- Grant allocations of more than $3 billion to support education in some of the world’s poorest countries.
- On average, the domestic financing to education as a share of the GDP in GPE countries increased by 10 percent after they joined the Global Partnership.

Education cuts across development sectors and provides broad benefits as a global public good, yet is often undervalued in its importance and impact. Education delivers:

- Reductions in poverty. If all students in low income countries left school with basic reading skills 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty. This is equal to a 12 per cent cut in global poverty.
- Better health. Over the past four decades, the global increase in women’s education has prevented more than 4 million child deaths. A child whose mother can read is 50 per cent more likely to live past age 5.
- Gender Equality. One additional school year can increase a woman’s earnings by 10 to 20 percent.
- Economic growth. Each additional year of schooling raises average annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth by 0.37 per cent.

More information: Learning for All Ministerial Meetings, New York, September 2013.


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