Statement by Serigne Mbaye Thiam, Vice chair of the Global Partnership for Education, and Dr. Mohamed Nouri Jouini, Vice President, Partnership Development, Islamic Development Bank
Washington DC, October 18, 2019 – Ministers of Finance and Sovereign Arab funds committed to tackling the global education crisis on the margins of the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings. At a meeting co-hosted by the Global Partnership for Education and Islamic Development Bank, Ministers of Finance and representatives of Sovereign Arab Funds discussed the challenges in education financing and the opportunities to unlock more and better domestic and international funding for basic education. This joint effort results from a strengthened partnership between the two organizations aimed at harnessing greater political and financial commitment for education.
Education is at the core of human development – building the skills and agency needed for individuals, as well as societies, to prosper. However, with more than 600 million children either out of school or not learning, the world is facing an education crisis. At this rate, by 2030, roughly 40% of 10-year-olds worldwide will not be able to read and understand simple text, a far cry from the vision of Sustainable Development Goal 4, which calls for inclusive and equitable quality education for all children. At the heart of our partnership is a commitment to work jointly and with partner countries to ensure that more effective and efficient utilization of resources leads to strengthened education systems and better learning outcomes.
While international aid is critical to addressing the learning crisis, governments continue to provide the bulk of financing needed to build and strengthen their education systems. The renewed commitment made by Ministers of Finance and key donors today to responding to education needs reinvigorates our hope that the international community can overcome the challenges that are depriving generations of children from a brighter future.
In the spring of 2020, the Islamic Development Bank, in cooperation with the Global Partnership for Education, will convene Arab funders to discuss opportunity to increase and better fund education. Our organizations express unconditional support to raising greater political and financial commitments from developing countries and the international community, and align support behind national priorities and plans.
We know the critical role quality education plays in the long-term economic and social development of countries and recognize the significant and persistent challenges facing our 33 joint members states. Together, we will continue to step up efforts towards ensuring that all children can get the inclusive and quality education they need to thrive.