Helsinki/Washington DC, January 29, 2021 – Finland rejoined the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) today with a €25 million pledge - the first towards GPE’s "Raise Your Hand” replenishment campaign. The campaign seeks to raise at least US $5 billion over five years to help transform education systems in up to 90 low-income countries and territories, which are home to more than 1 billion children.
The pledge is a significant increase from Finland’s last contribution in 2014, marking the country’s reengagement with GPE and demonstrating the priority Finland is giving to education. The pledge strengthens Nordic countries’ long-standing commitment to GPE.
“Education is a fundamental human right and an investment for the future. It is essential to create a well-functioning, equal and competitive society,” said Ville Skinnari, Finland’s Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade. “We are pledging to GPE’s campaign to advance the equal right of all children, especially the most vulnerable, to access inclusive and quality education.”
“Finland’s contribution and reengagement with GPE come at a critical juncture for education around the world,” said Alice Albright, GPE’s Chief Executive Officer. “As the first pledge towards GPE’s replenishment, Finland is sending a strong message to global leaders about the urgency of supporting global education efforts. We call on all donors to follow Finland’s example in making ambitious replenishment pledges and advance progress towards getting every girl and boy in school and learning.”
Covid-19 has drastically worsened education prospects for millions of children. At the height of pandemic-related closures, 1.6 billion children were shut out of schools, with an estimated 24 million students at risk of dropping out permanently. The pandemic is increasing the chance that children will be sent to work instead of school. Girls, children from poor families, and children with disabilities face the greatest risks of dropping out.
As the economic fallout from Covid-19 continues to squeeze government budgets, countries require urgent support to secure the resources to deliver quality education for every girl and boy.
GPE funding will help countries make transformative reforms, address bottlenecks in their education systems, train teachers, invest in new and innovative curricula and find new ways of delivering education to the children most at risk of being left behind.
The “Raise Your Hand” campaign will culminate in an education summit to replenish GPE, co-hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta, in the UK in mid-2021.
Pekka Hirvonen, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, @email
Tamara Kummer, Global Partnership for Education, @email, + 33 7 82 26 07 18
About the Global Partnership for Education
GPE is a shared commitment to ending the world’s learning crisis. We mobilize partners and funds to support up to 90 lower-income countries and territories to transform their education systems so that every girl and boy can get the quality education they need to unlock their full potential and contribute to building a better world.