Washington, April 20, 2017 - Launching a new funding drive for education involving governments, development organizations, and philanthropists, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) says its replenishment will mark the beginning of a new era of education financing to reverse the trend of declining aid for education.
“Addressing the global education crisis means helping countries to develop stronger education systems, which requires more and better financing” said Julia Gillard, Board Chair, Global Partnership for Education, at an event at the Center for Global Development where GPE’s Case for Investment was launched. “The challenge is immense and GPE has the right approach to turn the tide. The 89 countries eligible for GPE funding are home to 870 million school aged-children and youth, including 78% of the world’s out-of-school children.”
GPE’s goal is to reach financing of US$2 billion a year by 2020. GPE’s ambition over the following decade will require this amount to double to US$4 billion a year by 2030.
To reach this goal, GPE is seeking for its upcoming replenishment later this year contributions from traditional and new donors as well a philanthropic foundations and companies totaling US$3.1 billion over 3 years from 2018 to 2020. This will also help GPE to reach the objectives set out in GPE 2020, the partnership’s strategy.
“GPE’s focus is on low-and lower-middle income countries where poverty and education needs are greatest,” said Alice Albright, GPE’s Chief Executive Officer. “More international support is needed to strengthen national education systems, especially in countries affected by conflict and those with the lowest school completion rates.”
Crucially, GPE partner developing countries are also asked to increase education spending to 20% of their overall budget. Core to GPE’s business model, the partnership helps to improve domestic financing by creating incentives for developing countries to produce financially sustainable education sector plans, increase national budget allocations and improve the quality of their education expenditure. Grant funding is results-based as an incentive to drive education priorities. For 2018 to 2020, GPE is also expecting to unlock an additional US$900 million through its new leverage fund, which incentivizes countries to leverage additional funding from external sources, generating at least US$3 for every US$1 of GPE support received.
Without a substantial funding increase, it will be the end of the century before all children in low-income countries can complete even primary school. Currently, only two out of three children finish school—and only one in 10 finishes secondary education and will likely be equipped with the skills relevant for the future job market.
GPE estimates the three-year replenishment of US$3.1 billion will enable an additional 19 million children to complete primary school and 6.6 million complete secondary school, train 1.7 million teachers, build 23,800 classrooms and distribute 204 million textbooks. This will build on significant gains made in GPE partner countries over the past decade.
A high-profile global effort on education would yield big payoffs in helping break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, improve the health of the poor, reduce conflicts, empower women and calibrate skills learned in school with the needs of the modern labor market.
“We know it is possible to educate all the world’s children if we have the political will and the necessary funding", Gillard said. “The benefits are immense, flowing well beyond each child who completes a quality education to an array of economic and development gains for the countries concerned.”