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There are still more than 67 million children out of school around the world; 43% of them are in Africa. UNESCO estimates that $16 billion a year in external assistance is needed to achieve Universal Primary Education by 2015 - nearly 6 times the current assistance to basic education. Due to global economic stresses, instead of increasing assistance to achieve this goal, development assistance to basic education has stagnated since 2007. Aid to basic education fell by 6% per child in 2008. In addition, countries are "prioritizing" bilateral education funding to fewer developing countries. Burkina Faso, Benin, and Zambia are experiencing the withdrawal of funding and technical support for education from several bilateral donors at once. The Global Partnership's funding and coordination will therefore be more important than ever, critical to ensure partner countries are able to continue to expand and improve their education systems.
In order to be fully funded through 2014 and send 25 million children to primary school in developing partner countries, the Global Partnership is asking the United States for $375 million over 3 years, or 15% of the total replenishment amount. Though the United States holds a seat on the Global Partnership's Board, the United States has not contributed to the Global Partnership's pooled fund. Support has been limited to $2 million for an external review. Recent Global Partnership reforms, including the newly instituted results framework, accountability measures, and a stronger secretariat, are a direct result of the review. The United States is a global leader in Education funding, contributing 17% of the $4.7 billion spent globally on education in 2008, so it follows that the United States should contribute to the future of the Partnership, for which they have expressed support, and helped reform.
During the replenishment period, the Global Partnership will focus on fragile and conflict-affected states, education quality, and girls' education. Though fragile and conflict-affected countries are home to more than half the world's out-of-school children, they receive just over 25% of all aid to basic education. With more of these countries seeking to become partners with the Global Partnership, demand for education financing will remain high. Studies have proven how effective girls' education is in decreasing maternal and child mortality. The Global Partnership's focus on girls' education will produce long-term impacts, saving the lives of an estimated 14,000 mothers and 350,000 children every year.
Conservative estimates suggest that each $1 the United States commits to the Global Partnership leverages $2 in additional funding. In addition, the Global Partnership's structure encourages developing countries to develop quality education plans, improving the impact of bilateral funding to those countries. It provides a single channel for aid, lowering transaction and monitoring costs, and serves as a cost-effective channel of assistance to education in countries where donors do not have a presence - particularly in conflict-affected countries.
Fully funded, the Global Partnership will achieve dramatic short-term results in the next 3 years.
In Partnership countries, investments will: