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    Global Education Summit raises $4bn

    August 1, 2021

    A class in Jigawa State, Nigeria: the GPE aims to drive up girls’ enrolment in school
    IMAGE:GPE/Kelley Lynch

    THE Global Education Summit has raised $4 billion in pledges from donors for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), which will assist some 175 million children to learn and help get 88 million more girls and boys in school by 2025 in 87 low- and middle-income countries, of which 35 are in Africa.

    Delegates at the London summit, which was also held virtually on July 28 and 29, were confident that the record commitments had put the GPE firmly on the path to raising at least $5 billion over the next five years.

    Co-hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta,

    the hybrid event brought together leaders from governments, businesses, private foundations and development banks to commit funding and support to children’s education in the world’s lowest-income countries. 

    Donor pledges secured at the Summit built on the commitment to girls’ education announced in June by the Group of Seven (G7) leaders who pledged at least $2.7 billion to the GPE and called on other donors to step up and fully fund the GPE’s ambitious new five-year plan.

    “The funds raised at [the] Summit will transform the lives of millions of children around the world,” Johnson said.

    “The UK was proud to contribute £430 million to the Global Partnership for Education and it is fantastic to see others step up and contribute to the goal of ensuring a quality education for every child.”

    He added: “Education is the closest thing we have to a silver bullet to solve a myriad of problems, from gender inequality to climate change, and is one of the surest ways for our countries’ economies to rebound. 

    “Ensuring that all children – and especially girls – can get the education they deserve is the smartest investment we can make to ensure we build back better from the pandemic.”

    In addition to the $4 billion pledged from donors, 19 heads of state and government committed to spending at least 20 per cent of national budgets on education, rallying behind a political declaration on education financing led by Kenyatta.

    Over the next five years, the countries endorsing this statement are committing up to $196 billion in education financing.

    These commitments are a crucial shield against learning losses resulting from the economic impact of COVID-19, according to the GPE.

    Kenyatta called on leaders to endorse the domestic financing statement and to commit at least 20 per cent of your domestic budgets to education, adding: “This will ensure that we keep our promises to our children to secure their future through quality and inclusive education.”

    The Summit saw an unprecedented number of pledges from businesses, private foundations and development banks, who along with a range of partners have mobilised more than $1 billion towards innovative financing instruments that provide catalytic capital to partner countries alongside investments from the GPE. 

    The business community and private foundations collectively announced over $100 million at the Summit.

    Business partners launched two major new public-private partnerships, to use social marketing expertise to drive up girls’ enrolment in school and to strengthen data systems to drive evidence-based improvements in education systems.

    These in-kind commitments are valued at more than $6 million.

    “The Global Education Summit has helped put education at the top of the international agenda and highlighted its role in accelerating the fight to end poverty, prevent climate change and improve health outcomes,” said Julia Gillard, GPE Board Chair and former Prime Minister of Australia.

    “The Summit is an important success for millions of children and young people around the world whose education has been upended by the pandemic, and a critical step to ensuring that education is at the heart of our response and recovery.”

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