Germany and Ireland pledge €160 million towards the Global Partnership for Education “Raise Your Hand” campaign
Malala Yousafzai, Julia Gillard, Maria Flachsbarth
Malala Yousafzai, Julia Gillard and Maria Flachsbarth at the May 19 event on girls' education

Germany and Ireland pledge €160 million towards the Global Partnership for Education“Raise Your Hand” campaign at milestone event featuring Nobel Peace Prize winner and girls’ education advocate, Malala Yousafzai

GPE’s new Girls’ Education Accelerator fund now operational

WASHINGTON D.C./BERLINMay 19, 2021– Germany and Ireland pledged €160 million today towards the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) “Raise Your Hand” campaign. Two thirds of the pledged contributions will go to GPE’s new Girls’ Education Accelerator, a specialized fund to get more girls into school and learning.

  • Germany made an early pledge of €100 million towards GPE’s Girls’ Education Accelerator as part of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development’s newly created Support Her Education (SHE) Initiative. With this critical contribution, GPE’s new Girls’ Education Accelerator is now operational.
  • Ireland announced a pledge of €60 million towards GPE’s financing campaign– a nearly 50% increase from Ireland’s previous contribution to GPE in 2018 - with €10 million dedicated to the Girls’ Education Accelerator.
  • Dubai Cares, a UAE-based global philanthropic organization, allocated US$1.5 million of an earlier US$ 2.5 million pledge made in April to the Girls’ Education Accelerator. 

The pledges were announced at a high-level event focused on girls’ education, co-hosted by GPE, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Malala Fund. 

Speakers at the event included Malala Fund Co-Founder Malala Yousafzai; Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development; Julia Gillard, GPE Board Chair and former Prime Minister of Australia; Colm Brophy, Minister of State for Overseas Development of Ireland; and His Excellency Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares and Regional Champion of GPE. Leaders from Belgium, Finland, France, Italy, Kenya, Luxembourg, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States also spoke at the event alongside business leaders and youth activists.

Malala Yousafzai, Malala Fund Co-Founder, said:

“COVID-19 is creating a global education crisis. To address this, we must shift critical resources towards education. In turn, this helps our communities and societies improve because educating girls increases economic growth, improves public health, reduces conflict, and improves environmental sustainability. The benefits are countless. Through the Girls’ Education Accelerator, we can ensure 46 million girls enroll in schools over the next two years.”

Dr. Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, said>: 

"We are far from reaching UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality. Worldwide, women do the bulk of the work, but their incomes are only three-fourths those of men. As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the situation for girls and women has deteriorated. They were often the first to lose their jobs. Worldwide, 130 million girls are unable to go to school. The dramatic global economic and hunger crisis means that 13 million girls are pushed into forced marriage and often have to drop out of school. That is unacceptable! We must do everything we can to ensure that there will not be a lost generation. After all, education for girls is the smartest investment you can make. Every euro invested pays off twice. It creates new employment opportunities and opportunities in life, protects women against unwanted pregnancies – and thus improves their job outlook. Thus, the meeting of the Global Partnership for Education must send the message that the richest countries are living up to their responsibility. Germany is already making a major contribution. We have doubled our investments in education and training and are now providing another 100 million euros so that one million girls can return to school after the pandemic. This is an important investment in the future of an entire generation."

Julia Gillard, GPE Board Chair and former Prime Minister of Australia, said:

“Today marks a huge success for girls’ education. There is great hope that the world’s poorest countries can fortify their education systems to create vibrant futures where all girls and boys can become game changers. Education drives gender equality, which is key to creating a more peaceful, prosperous, healthy and sustainable world. It is now more important than ever to get children back into schools to pave their way in driving change.”

Mr. Colm Brophy, Irish Minister of State for Overseas Development and Diaspora, said:

“Girls’ education is essential if we are to tackle the world’s major challenges today. Girls’ education can only be achieved if we have resilient, equitable and high-quality systems. Through GPE, we can support the transformational changes needed to build education systems and deliver quality education for all children. The Girls’ Education Accelerator can provide the extra support needed for overcoming barriers where girls are lagging furthest behind. We are proud to stand with GPE and all girls globally.”

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

“The girls’ education crisis is one that the world can’t afford to lose momentum on. Dubai Cares recently pledged USD2.5 million to the Global Partnership for Education, a considerable proportion of which will go towards GPE’s new Girls’ Education Accelerator. Although this pledge is the first to support this initiative, it definitely should not be the last. At Dubai Cares, we’ve been advocating for girls’ education and gender equality since the inception of Dubai Cares and we call upon stakeholders from the region to join us so we, together, can demonstrate the power of collective vision and collaborative action.”

GPE’s “Raise Your Hand” financing campaign comes at a critical time for education worldwide. As COVID-19 continues to profoundly disrupt learning for millions of children, governments need urgent support to secure the tools, teachers and means to deliver quality education for every girl and boy. An estimated 20 million girls may never return to school post-pandemic. GPE’s new fund dedicated to accelerating progress on girls’ education seeks to preserve hard-won gains in this essential area of global education efforts. 

The financing campaign 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.

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, 2021 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

For more information, contact:

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

Stephanie v. Ehrlich, Press Officer, @email, 030 18535 2674 

McKinley Tretler, Communications Manager, @email

About Malala Fund

Malala Fund is working for a world where all girls can learn and lead. Malala Fund advocates for resources and policy changes needed to give all girls a secondary education, invests in local education leaders and amplifies the voices of girls fighting for change. Learn more at

About the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany

Within the German government, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is responsible for Germany's official development policy. The BMZ's task is to determine the objectives of German development policy, to negotiate with partner countries worldwide regarding bilateral cooperation, and to play a part in shaping multilateral cooperation. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations constitutes the international framework for Germany's development policy.

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.

Malala Yousafzai, Julia Gillard, Maria Flachsbarth
Malala Yousafzai, Julia Gillard and Maria Flachsbarth at the May 19 event on girls' education

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