By Irene Gaitirira
Published February 4, 2018
Donor countries have pledged US$2.3 Billion in financing to address global learning crisis. While many more donor countries have indicated their intention to pledge further funds over the course of the financing period, 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.
The financial commitments were made in the Senegalese capital, during a Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Financing Conference co-hosted by President Macky Sall of Senegal and President Emmanuel Macron of France.
GPE, that encourages developing countries to increase their share of education spending to 20% of their overall budget, says it works with governments of low-income and lower middle-income countries to strengthen their education systems.
United Arab Emirates joined GPE, becoming the first Arab donor and pledging US$100 million. While Senegal became GPE’s first African donor as The Netherlands and Spain renewed their involvement, China attended for the first time.
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“I am energised 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,” said Julia Gillard, Board Chair of GPE and former Prime Minister of Australia during the conference that brought together 10 sitting and three former heads of state and more than 60 ministers. “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.”
Speaking during the meeting that brought together an estimated 1200 participants, Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of GPE, said, “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.”