In the midst of budget cuts on foreign aid, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is increasing its funding for global education. The GPE Board of Directors met in Washington D.C. from Feb. 28 through March 1 and approved a new financial strategy that will expand its funding to $2 billion.
GPE’s strategy is a five-year plan called GPE 2020, beginning in 2018. The goal is to offer effective solutions for improving the quality of education in developing countries. GPE 2020 is a response to the recommendation of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity to expand GPE’s efforts.
The International Commission on Financing Global Education is working to end educational inequality. When children don’t have access to education, they increase their chances of contracting diseases like HIV and malaria. Educational inequality also makes civil unrest in developing countries more likely. A strong educational infrastructure is crucial to countries’ development because it lifts communities out of poverty and away from war and disease, which is exactly what GPE 2020 is trying to do.
To fund the strategy, GPE’s board proposed a “leverage fund” to which low-income countries will have access. GPE will also mobilize resources to focus on better financing education in communities and countries around the world. GPE 2020 will improve operations through data collection to better allocate funds and overcome policy challenges. The increased funding for global education will go toward mobilizing efforts in local and global communities.
In addition, the board approved “a new approach to eligibility and allocation of GPE resources” that is needs-based and prioritizes the poorest countries, which usually have the highest number of children out of school. GPE is working closely with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the Office of the Special Envoy for Global Education to ensure the success of GPE 2020.
Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer for GPE, says “the new framework will ensure that the building blocks of effective education systems are in place.” GPE 2020 isn’t a quick fix to the education crisis, it is a means of building from the ground up, focusing on the poorest regions first, to offer access to sustainable, quality education for all.
– Rachel Cooper