Commenting on the outcome of the Global Education Summit and the $4bn raised for the Global Partnership for Education, a spokesperson for Send My Friend to School, the UK’s global education coalition, said:
“There has not been a time in living memory when the need to invest in education has been more acute. We welcome the strong commitments made by Developing Country Partners to help deliver this investment through domestic financing, setting forth a path to a brighter future for every child in the process.
“However, this level of ambition has not been matched by donor governments, including the UK. While today’s announcement of $4bn raised for the Global Partnership for Education is positive, it is $1bn short of what was urgently required.
“The UK, as co-host, had a responsibility to help secure a successful replenishment by reaching GPE’s overall target of $5 billion. This commitment was reaffirmed by government representatives just two weeks ago. Yet as co-host, the UK delivered a pledge way short of what was needed, slashed its aid to education by at least 25%, and became the only G7 government to cut ODA during an unprecedented global crisis. The impact of this on the million’s of girls, children with disabilities, and other learners at greatest risk of being left behind will be devastating.
“Time and again the UK Government has reaffirmed its commitment to girls’ education, but rhetoric carries with it a responsibility to deliver. At a time when global cooperation is crucial, by cutting aid to education and missing GPE’s $5bn target, the UK Government has undermined its credibility on the global stage and impaired its ability to leverage others. The UK Government will need to change course as it seeks to deliver on its promise of 12 years of quality education for every child.
“Donor governments, including the UK, need to step up with funding that reflects and responds to the scale and urgency of children’s needs. We hope the UK Government will heed this call for action: now is not the time to shy away from the challenge of education financing but rather to throw the book at it.”