Record $28.5bn pledged for education by developing countries and donors
Developing nations and donors today pledged to spend an extra $28.5billion on educating millions of children in more than 60 countries.
This historic commitment to fund basic schooling was driven by unprecedented promises from 27 countries to increase their own education budgets by $26billion – a rise of 25% between 2015 and 2018.
Donors also pledged more than $2.1billion to the Global Partnership for Education Fund – an increase of 40% over the previous replenishment pledging conference in 2011.
The funding pledges came at the GPE’s Replenishment Conference in Brussels, Belgium. Donors included the European Union, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the United Kingdom. Pledges were also received from multilateral organisations, NGO partners, the private sector, and – for the first time – two foundations.
GPE Chair Julia Gillard addresses the conference Picture: GPE
GPE Chair Julia Gillard said: “We have today secured a record commitment of new funding for education in developing countries around the world.
“This exceptional result is a vote of confidence in the power of education to lift the lives of millions of children and is a tribute to far-sighted leadership in our partner countries – donors and developing country partners alike.”
The conference marks the start of GPE’s four-year replenishment period from 2015-2018, which aims to raise a total of $3.5 billion in donor commitments.
Hosted by the European Commission, the conference brought together about 800 delegates including more than 40 government ministers, education experts and representatives from multilateral organisations, civil society, business and youth leaders from 91 countries.
The youth advocates attended meetings and side sessions throughout the conference on the issues and solutions around global education. There was a strong call from A World at School for young people to be represented at GPE board level.
Among the youth advocates in Brussells was Leroy Phillips (pictured above), a 23-year-old from Guyana who is an A World at School Global Youth Ambassador.
He said it was important to be at the conference, adding: “As a youth with disability, one goal is inclusive education for all. Leave no one behind. When you speak of inclusive education, integrated as one, both abled and disabled. I think telling my story and my personal experience affected those who heard it.”
Luiz Carlos Guedes (picture above), is a 21-year-old Brazilian who is on the Youth Advocacy Group of the United Nations’ Global Education First Initiative.
He said: “I am I’m here because I bring perspective of youth from Latin America, a big region of the world with many marginalised youth out of school, particularly in rural areas.
“It’s good to be in the place where decisions are made and I can bring other points of view, aside from the traditional and maybe sometimes bureaucratic views.”
Sarah Musau (pictured above), is a 21-year-old Global Youth Ambassador from Kenya, who is also a volunteer with Leonard Cheshire Disability International.
She said: “I know and believe my voice counts. When I use my voice it means that I represent many young people who don’t have the chance to air their voice and opinions.”