The Federal Council of Switzerland announced last week in Bern a contribution of CHF36 million (US$37.3 million) to the Global Partnership for Education. This amount will be supplemented by CHF4 million to reach US$41.5 million for the years 2017 to 2020. The Council noted that education is a priority theme of Switzerland’s development policy and that GPE is a priority investment.
“Switzerland is pleased to increase its contribution to the forthcoming GPE replenishment,” said Chantal Nicod, Head, West Africa Division and Education at the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. “Being recognized as the main financing and coordination mechanism of aid in education, GPE represents a strategic partner with which Switzerland is involved at global and national levels. This contribution is in line with the Swiss Agency Development Cooperation (SDC) engagement in education as outlined in the SDC’s new education strategy.”
“We are grateful for the increased support from the government of Switzerland, a valued partner, to GPE’s mission,” said Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Partnership for Education. “These funds will support GPE’s work to reach the millions of girls and boys who deserve a quality education in the world’s poorest countries.”
Switzerland has been a GPE partner since 2009 and has since contributed a total of US$43 million to the GPE fund. The country holds a seat on the GPE Board of Directors, representing the “Donor 1” constituency, which also includes Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Russia. Switzerland also sits on the GPE Grants and Performance committee, which makes recommendations on grant proposals, tracks progress of the grant portfolio and oversees the quality assurance process of education sector plans.
GPE’s replenishment seeks to raise new financing over 2018-2020 to support an additional 19 million children completing primary school, including 9.4 million girls, and 6.6 million additional children completing lower secondary school, including 3.9 million girls and 3.9 million children living in countries affected by fragility and conflict. GPE aims to become a US$2 billion a year operation by 2020 to ensure it can deliver a full-scale response to the global education challenge and the ambition of SDG 4. The replenishment campaign marks the beginning of a new era in education financing to show a new commitment not just to the children of the developing world but to global security and prosperity.