In the current global context, financing “as usual” is not enough to give all children a quality education by 2030—the remit of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated challenges and uncertainties that strain official development assistance (ODA) and domestic budgets for education. There has been a decrease of 4% between 2020 and 2021 in total ODA for education (from US$12.6 billion to $12.1 billion).
Using innovative financing in challenging times
The war in Ukraine, deepening rates of poverty, climate change and sluggish economic growth in most parts of the world also challenge the education sector to garner resources to meet both the demand and scale of need.
Given the extent of both the challenges and existing gaps in education financing, substantial scaling-up of existing innovative tools is needed.
A joint initiative to increase education financing: ACG - SmartEd
The Arab Coordination Group (ACG) Smart Education financing initiative (SmartEd) is an innovative approach that brings together the ACG (a grouping of Arab financial development institutions), the Islamic Development Bank and GPE to channel greater levels of funds towards getting more children in school and learning.
Launched at the RewirEd Summit in December 2021, SmartEd has been designed to dramatically scale education financing across IsDB’s 37 eligible member countries (that also represent more than one-third of GPE-eligible partner countries), by mobilizing $4 in cofinancing for every $1 mobilized from GPE.
Together, ACG and GPE funds total half a billion dollars to support education in partner countries. SmartEd will deploy US$500 million in blended funds, integrating US$400 million in IsDB and ACG funding with US$100 million from GPE.