Next week, the Global Partnership for Education will host its first-ever replenishment conference. The event will bring together donors and developing country partners to make commitments for the next three years. This is a decisive moment for the international community; robust support for education is crucial in the lead-up to the 2015 Millennium Development Goal deadline.
If donors step up to fully fund the Global Partnership with $2.5 billion for the next three years, the Global Partnership will achieve impressive results in partner countries. The Partnership will send 25 million more children to primary school, increase primary school completion rates by 7 percent, and halve both the number of kids out of school and the number of third graders who cannot read. In addition, the Global Partnership will train 600,000 new teachers and put 50 million new textbooks in classrooms. A fully-funded Global Partnership for Education will accelerate progress toward a quality education for all children in partner developing countries.
During the replenishment period, the Global Partnership will focus on fragile and conflict-affected states, education quality and girls. Despite being home to more than half of the world’s out-of-school children, fragile and conflict-affected countries receive more than 25 percent of all assistance to basic education. With more of these countries seeking to become partners with the Global Partnership, demand for education financing will remain high. Because of the link between educating girls and decreases in 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.
Recent reforms to the Global Partnership (aside from its new name) include a new results framework, accountability measures, and stronger secretariat. Although the United States advised the reform process and currently holds a seat on the Global Partnership’s Board, it has not contributed to the Global Partnership’s fund. The Global Partnership is asking the United States for $375 million over three years, or 15 percent of the total replenishment amount. The United States is a global leader in education, contributing 17 percent of the $4.7 billion spent globally on education in 2008, so it makes sense that the United States should contribute to the future of the Partnership that they have expressed support and helped reform.
We look forward to hearing good news from donor and developing countries in the lead up to the replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education in November. Keep an eye out for more Global Partnership success stories, and follow the conversation on Twitter: @GPforEducation #FundGPEsummit.