The guide to financing education – Worldwide

World leaders will let children down unless they take urgent action to increase investment in education

A new report from Theyworld warns of an “alarming” funding gap and says the current G7 stimulus plan risks leaving millions of vulnerable children behind.

A new report from Theyworld warns that world leaders are failing the most vulnerable children by not prioritizing education in their post-Covid recovery plans.

With less than 100 days to go before the G7 summit, we are calling for “bold pledges from courageous leaders” to ensure every child is on track to be in school by 2030.

Our report reveals that, without urgent action, more than half of all children will not have the most basic literacy skills by 2030. This would have “a devastating impact” not only on the global economy, but also on some of the biggest challenges in the world. in the face of climate change, poverty and food security.

The Education Finance Playbook warns that at least an additional $ 75 billion a year, on average, is needed to meet the United Nations goal of quality education for every child by 2030.

Current aid to education is only $ 16 billion per year and is expected to decline, leaving an education funding gap of at least $ 59 billion per year that is not factored into no plans or proposals on the table.

To close the funding gap, world leaders must commit to finding innovative new ways to unlock billions of dollars for education, says the report, which sets a timetable for action from the G7 meeting in June to the RewirED summit in Dubai in December.

Their world president Justin van Fleet said: “Even before Covid-19, 260 million children were out of school. The pandemic has worsened the global education crisis, pushing the world’s most vulnerable children even further. the planet by 2030 is achievable, but it will require bold action on the part of courageous leaders. Currently, the numbers just don’t add up. “

In addition to fully funding the appropriate UN agencies and specialized global funds such as the Global Partnership for Education and Education Cannot Wait, the report urges the G7 to support the International Finance Facility for Education ( IFFEd), a new fund designed to maximize donor funding to help the poorest countries invest in education.

The handbook calls on G7 leaders to commit the first billion dollars in innovative financing, helping to generate more than 25 billion dollars in new financing for low-income countries.

What is the International Financial Facility for Education?

Bringing together public and private donors, alongside international financial institutions such as the World Bank, the fund ‘supercharges’ education funding through a combination of grants and guarantees, unlocking up to $ 27 for every dollar. paid into the fund.

According to the report, if a donor country contributing $ 500 million per year diverted $ 65 million through the facility, it could provide countries $ 885 million – 75% more. Likewise, if a philanthropist wanted to invest $ 1 billion in education, channeling it through the Facility would create $ 3.14 billion in new funding for education – and nearly $ 30 billion in partnership with donor governments.

The report calls for mobilizing funding around several large-scale recovery efforts, including connectivity, digital inclusion, school meals and early childhood education.

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on children. At the height of the crisis, more than 1.6 billion children, including 767 million girls, were forced out of school, putting them at greater risk of sexual exploitation and marriage. children and domestic violence. It is estimated that without adequate investment in education, more than 20 million children may never return to school.

Their world says that investing in education is “transformative” not only for children but also for their families and communities.

A child whose mother can read is 50% more likely to live past the age of five and twice as likely to go to school themselves. With just one additional year of schooling, a woman’s income can increase by 12%.

Van Fleet said: “If we are to achieve the goal of quality education for all children, even if the poorest countries maximize their domestic incomes and prioritize education, we face a gap. at least $ 75 billion on average per year. Current aid is a drop in the ocean – currently only $ 16 billion a year – so innovative financing is crucial. “

He added: “Now, at a time when big deals are being made ahead of the G7 world leaders meeting in June, it is time to honor our commitments to existing funds and to make the International Finance Facility for education a priority so that we can mobilize the necessary funds for education, invest it wisely and end the global education crisis once and for all. “

The UN has several prominent economists and financial experts who are now working on the Sustainable Development Goals endorsing innovative finance and IFFEd.

Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, said: “Already underfunded, global education now needs additional resources for catch-up programs, digital inclusion and return to school. safe school.

“To meet the commitments of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, we must pressure governments not to cut their education budgets, but to increase them – and call on the international community to reverse them. current plans to cut education aid budgets.

“For obvious reasons, we will need innovative financial instruments, including the new International Financial Facility for Education, which should be rolled out immediately so that countries can ensure that every child goes to school.”

Hiro Mizuno, UN Special Envoy for Innovative Financing and Sustainable Investments, said: “Global education financing ambitions cannot continue to fail, especially during the critical period of recovery.

“If governments are serious about education for all, then the G7 and other major opportunities this year must include the International Finance Facility for Education in their solution.

“Conventional financial approaches will not support and sufficiently close the financing gap. It is essential that all financial actors in the public and private sectors contribute innovative financing ideas. “

Amina J. Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, President of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group, said: “Education must be at the heart of pandemic recovery efforts and the funding gap must be fulfilled. The financing of Sustainable Development Goal 4 must rise to meet the challenge that awaits us, which means increasing investments in national education budgets, fully financing institutions and taking advantage of innovative financing. . “

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