ROME/WASHINGTON DC, June 9, 2021 - Italy renewed its longstanding commitment to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) today with a €25 million pledge towards the GPE “Raise Your Hand” financing 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 Italy’s previous contribution of €12 million in 2018. The contribution confirms Italy as a key GPE partner, and highlights the priority that Italy is giving to development cooperation in education worldwide.
During the online webinar on the “role of multi-stakeholder partnerships in promoting global education”, organized by Save the Children-Italy on 9 June 2021, the Italian Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Marina Sereni said: “We strongly believe that investing in education and especially in girls’ education means investing in the future of countries and in peaceful, just and inclusive societies.”
She added that “Italy recognizes the impressive results achieved by GPE to ensure quality education for millions of children all over the world, especially those in the most fragile and vulnerable contexts. Despite all our efforts, there is still so much to be done and this is why Italy decided to increase its political and financial support to the Global Partnership for Education.”
The Italian Vice Minister Sereni concluded: “Italy will be contributing €25 million for the next five years. Half of our contribution will be dedicated to girls’ education in Africa, which is a top priority area for Italian Cooperation.”
“Italy has been a long-standing GPE partner,” said Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of GPE. “Their increased contribution to the GPE “Raise Your Hand” comes at a critical time for global education. Millions of young students will never return to the classroom because of COVID-19. We must continue to build strong, resilient and quality education systems that can respond to future crises and ensure that all children remain in school.”
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 at the Global Education Summit, co-hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta, in London on 28-29 July.