Facility created to ensure SDG4 will be met
A newly-establishment International Finance Facility for Education will seek to mobilise $2 billion by 2020 to ensure the UN’s fourth Sustainable Development Goal of inclusive and equitable education and promoting of lifelong learning opportunities is met.
By early 2020, the UN’s Education Commission along with its partners hopes to “unlock in excess of $2bn of new affordable funding for children in lower-middle-income countries”. The Netherlands and the UK have announced initial contributions of $600 million to support the establishment of IFFEd.
Beneficiary countries must be committed to increasing or maintaining their domestic education budget while improving education opportunities for marginalised youth.
“It is staggering that a child whose mother can read is 50% more likely to live past the age of five”
They must also demonstrate a commitment to the SDG4 via national education sector plan or a similar strategy. Currently, 260 million children are not in school and more than 600 million children who are in school are failing to learn, according to the UN.
At the current rate, by 2030 half of the world’s children – 800 million – will not be learning the skills needed to thrive in today’s global economy, it added.
“The status quo is not an option when millions of children don’t go to school,” UN special envoy for Global Education and Education Commission chair Gordon Brown said.
“These generous contributions from the UK and the Netherlands show that is possible to drive change. We now need more countries to join and make a lasting difference once and for all the girls and boys.”
Brown added that the IFFEd is on track to be operational within months.
Sigrid Kaag, the Netherlands minister for Trade and Development Cooperation, which announced $250 million in guarantees, noted that the IFFEd will “greatly help accelerate progress in access to education and quality of learning”.
The UK announced £100 million in grants and over £200 million in guarantees to support the Facility.
“It is staggering that a child whose mother can read is 50% more likely to live past the age of five and twice as likely to attend school herself,” Alok Sharma, the UK secretary of state for International Development.
“If we educate girls today we will transform the world of tomorrow and ensure all future generations thrive. That is why the UK is increasing support to give every girl across the world the chance to go to school.”