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Aid to education
The Overseas Economic Cooperation Council is responsible for the overall strategic direction of Japan’s ODA policy. Under this umbrella, the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry propose and recommend aid policies while the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) implement the aid program.
Both JICA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs consider education a key development sector and an integral part of their efforts to promote human security in developing countries.
As part of its promise to fulfill the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Japan created an “SDG Promotion Headquarters,” led by the Prime Minister and tasked with directing a whole-of-government approach to achieving the goals. Promotion of quality education is included in the first of 8 priority areas outlined in The SDGs Implementation Guiding Principles.
Education was additionally included in the G20 Initiative on Human Capital Investment for Sustainable Development of the G20 Development Working Group during the 2019 Japanese Presidency.
JICA’s 2015-2020 position paper on education cooperation guides its work in the sector, focusing on four priority areas:
- Quality education for learning improvement
- Education for fostering equitable and sustainable growth
- Education for knowledge co-creation in societies
- Education for building inclusive and peaceful societies
In 2017, the top recipients of basic education ODA disbursement were: Philippines, Egypt, Nepal, Bangladesh, Cambodia.
Japan and GPE
Japan hosted the 7thTokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama in August 2019, where education was featured as a thematic priority. Along with UNICEF and the African Union, and with the participation of the World Bank, GPE held a side event on the importance of early childhood education: Early Childhood Education: A Foundation for Human Capital Investment.
GPE Vice-Chair Serigne Mbaye Thiam represented the partnership at TICAD VII, demonstrating strengthened collaboration between GPE, Africa and Japan.
Since 2017, Japan has provided additional support to the GPE Fund in support of emergency education for refugees and displaced children in Bangladesh, Chad and South Sudan.