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This is progress but not a win: Global Partnership for Education conference

2nd of February 2018 – Governments have pledged 2.3billion USD to fight the global education emergency, with commitments at the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) summit in Senegal.

With 110bn* USD, poor countries led the way and showed the most ambition with their pledges.  Donor countries provided welcome pledges but did not match the ambition of 3.1bn USD. This shows that Dakar can only be a beginning.

Today’s pledges showed some progress towards providing education to every child around the world. These valuable resources will make a huge difference to the 130 million girls out of school and to millions of lives – a vital step given that access to quality education could help avoid 2,800 deaths every day in the poorest countries.

Gayle Smith, President and CEO of ONE, reacted:

“Today the world positioned itself for progress, but is not yet in the right place to win the battle against the education emergency. Dakar must be seen as the beginning of a bigger and sustained campaign to meet our goals.

“The good news from Dakar is that African countries have taken the lead at this conference and showed the commitment we need to respond to the crisis and prepare for the future. Donor countries, however, were lagging behind, despite strong leadership from President Sall and President Macron. Senegal and France matched their political commitment with real resources.”

Despite the high-level of ambition, the GPE did not meet its target. Most of the donors did increase their commitment but did not deliver their fair share. The fight for access to education for all does not stop in Dakar.

Smith added: “Do the math; we don’t yet have the resources we need, and we owe it to every girl and boy out there to keep going until we win.”

Emily Wigens, interim Brussels Director at ONE, said: “We were excited to see the EU showing global leadership on education. Thanks to Commissioner Mimica, the EU was the first donor to step up its commitment to education in the poorest countries by pledging early and generously – an additional €100 million – in December.

Today, other leaders have followed suit setting us down the path to achieving a future where each of the 130 million girls currently out of school can get an education. But we are not there yet and the fight does not stop here. We must continue to spread the message that investing in education is an investment in a better, safer, healthier and richer world. In short: everyone wins when we invest in education.”


*More than 50 developing countries announced they would increase public expenditures for education for the period 2018 to 2020 to a total of US$110 billion, compared to US$80 billion between 2015 and 2017.