The Islamic Development Bank and Dubai Cares commit $202.5 million to the Global Partnership for Education through innovative finance
Aichetou Mint Mohamed Ali, 14, in class at College Riyad 5, Tarhil, Nouakchott, Mauritania. Credit GPE/Kelley Lynch
Aichetou Mint Mohamed Ali, 14, in class at College Riyad 5, Tarhil, Nouakchott, Mauritania.
Credit GPE/Kelley Lynch

JEDDAH, April 6, 2021 – The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, today committed $202.5 million towards GPE’s 2021-2025 “Raise Your Hand” financing campaign, with the Islamic Development Bank pledging $200 million and Dubai Cares contributing $2.5 million.

The pledges – the first from the Middle East region – use innovative financing approaches to help transform education in lower-income countries.

The announcement was made at the Middle East launch of GPE’s Case for Investment, which calls on global leaders to pledge at least $5 billion over five years towards education in 90 lower-income countries and territories. COVID-19 has hit vulnerable children in these countries especially hard, creating the biggest education emergency in recent history.

With a $2.5 million pledge, Dubai Cares has doubled its previous contributions to GPE in 2014 and 2018. Dubai Cares was the first foundation to ever contribute funding to GPE. Now, as the first foundation to pledge to GPE’s current 2021-25 financing campaign, Dubai Cares has reinforced its commitment to improving the future of vulnerable children and youth around the world by helping provide access to quality education.

The Islamic Development Bank has pledged $200 million in concessional loans to boost lower-income country access to finance for education. The contribution represents half of the total $400 million sought from the Arab Coordination Group, a grouping of Arab Financial Development institutions.

The full $400 million from the Group would unlock $100 million from the GPE Multiplier, an innovative financing tool. Together, the leveraged contributions would yield a total of half a billion dollars towards quality education for children in 37 GPE partner countries which are also members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

IsDB President, Dr. Bandar Al-Hajjar, stated:

“The partnership between IsDB and GPE provides innovative financing opportunities for the Arab funds in the region to respond to the threat that COVID-19 poses to domestic financing for education. The proposed Arab Coordination Group - GPE blended financing mechanism will create much-needed concessional funding for education – an essential step to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, on quality education for all.”

Minister Serigne Thiam, GPE Board Vice-Chair and Minister of Water and Sanitation of Senegal said:

“With a deeply rooted tradition of generosity, Gulf countries have played a vital role in supporting education systems in lower-income countries. With contributions from donors like the Islamic Development Bank and Dubai Cares, GPE’s replenishment represents a real opportunity for regional leaders to step up and transform education for the world’s most vulnerable children. Education is the key to creating a more peaceful, equitable and prosperous world.”

His Excellency Dr Tariq Al-Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares and GPE Regional Champion said:

"Supporting GPE's efforts in a sustainable way through the continuous renewal of financial resources is a shared responsibility that requires a bold vision, close cooperation and enduring commitment. If education isn’t given the attention it deserves now, an entire generation on this planet could miss out on their education; hence lose hope for a brighter future. We are now at this tipping point.”

The launch event featured remarks by high-level dignitaries from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries along with other senior officials representing Arab development funds. The event was part of a three-day visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by Serigne Mbaye Thiam, GPE Vice-Chair.

GPE’s financing campaign comes at a critical time for education worldwide. As COVID-19 threatens to reverse hard-won gains for children, governments need urgent support to secure the tools, teachers, and means to deliver quality education for every girl and boy.

Fully funded, GPE’s support would:

  • Enable 175 million primary-age children to learn,
  • Reach 140 million students with professionally trained teachers,
  • Get 88 million more children in school, more than half of them girls,
  • Save $16 billion through more efficient spending.

The “Raise Your Hand” campaign will culminate on July 28-29 in London at a landmark summit to finance GPE, co-hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta.


Notes to editors

  • Interviews available with:
    • His Excellency, Dr Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares
    • Minister Serigne Mbaye Thiam, Vice-Chair, Global Partnership for Education Board of Directors
    • Alice Albright, CEO, Global Partnership for Education
  • Broadcast-quality multimedia materials available here
  • Replay the event in English or Arabic here.

Partners' logos

For more information, contact:

Tamara Kummer, GPE Media lead, @email +33 7 82 26 07 18

About Dubai Cares

Since its inception in 2007, Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has been working towards providing children and youth in developing countries with access to quality education through the design and funding of programs that aim to be impactful, sustainable and scalable. To date, the UAE-based global philanthropic organization has successfully launched education programs reaching over 20 million beneficiaries in 60 developing countries.

Dubai Cares plays a key role in helping achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and quality education for all, and promote lifelong learning by 2030, by supporting programs in early childhood development, access to quality primary and secondary education, technical and vocational education and training for youth as well as a particular focus on education in emergencies and protracted crises. Moreover, Dubai Cares adopts a strategic approach to improve student enrollment and learning outcomes through an integrated school health and nutrition model that is made up of school-based deworming activities, school feeding, and WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) in schools.

Dubai Cares is a member of the United Nations Department of Global Communications (UN DGC), as well as a registered non-government organization under IACAD, the charitable activities regulator in Dubai. The UAE-based global philanthropic organization is authorized to raise funds through direct donations and fundraising campaigns, as well as process all permit approvals with IACAD.

Volunteerism is a powerful tool to Dubai Cares in order to engage people in tackling development challenges. Dubai Cares rallies the UAE wider community through a large spectrum of volunteering and awareness initiatives that are linked to its global mandate.

To learn more, please visit

About the IsDB

The purpose of IsDB is to foster socio-economic development in its Member Countries and Muslim Communities in non-Member Countries. The ultimate goal of the IsDB is to promote human development through investing in priority areas such as education, poverty reduction, health and governance.

About the Global Partnership for Education

GPE is a shared commitment to ending the world’s learning crisis. It is the only global partnership and fund dedicated entirely to helping children in lower-income countries get a quality education, so they can unlock their potential and contribute to building a better world.

With nearly 20 years’ experience helping partner countries to get more girls and boys in school and learning, GPE convenes teachers, civil society, donors, United Nations agencies, development banks, businesses and philanthropists behind partner country leadership to finance and support solutions so that no child is left behind.

Aichetou Mint Mohamed Ali, 14, in class at College Riyad 5, Tarhil, Nouakchott, Mauritania. Credit GPE/Kelley Lynch
Aichetou Mint Mohamed Ali, 14, in class at College Riyad 5, Tarhil, Nouakchott, Mauritania.
Credit GPE/Kelley Lynch

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