February 05, 2018

Unprecedented support for the Global Partnership for Education calls for hope

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Last Friday, February 2nd, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) financing conference closed in Dakar. The goal of this high-level meeting was to mobilize funds to strengthen the educational systems of developing countries so that by 2030 all the children of the world can exercise their right to quality, inclusive early childhood, primary and secondary education. This Summit was the first of its kind organized jointly by a donor country, member of the G7, France, and a developing country, Senegal. It has also been the first to bring together ten Heads of State, three former Heads of State and more than one hundred Ministers, who have demonstrated their commitment to the cause of education.

The Dakar Summit has met all expectations, both in terms of participation – with more than 1,200 participants, including leaders from UNESCO, UNICEF, the World Bank, civil society, and the private sector, in addition to singer Rihanna, who is the global ambassador of the GPE – as well as through its economic commitment: donors have committed to contributing 2.3 billion dollars to the GPE  between 2018 and 2020, although the greatest effort is that of the 50 developing countries that announced an increase in public spending for education to reach or exceed 20% of their respective budgets, representing 110 billion dollars until 2020, compared to 80 billion in the previous period.

Although the goal of the GPE, which was set at $2 billion from donor countries, is still far from being achieved, the results of the Dakar Summit invite hope. The funds mobilized so far will make it possible to extend the support of the GPE to public education systems in up to 89 developing countries, reaching an enrollment of 870 million girls and boys through teacher training projects, classroom construction, distribution of manuals, school activities and specific activities for girls’ education. It is undoubtedly a major boost to initiatives to ensure that the 264 million children out of school worldwide – and in a few years could reach 500 million if the current trend is not reversed – can access quality, inclusive education.

The International Federation of Fe y Alegría and Entreculturas- Fe y Alegría, through its membership in the Global Campaign for Education, mobilized support so that countries, such as Spain, followed through on their funding commitments. We will continue to follow up in the countries where we are present so that governments not only commit to but increase their allocations to guarantee the right to access to quality education for all.

This post originally adapted from press release by Entreculturas – Fe y Alegría Spain.