World Vision has welcomed the UK Government’s £430 million commitment for global education, but reminded the G7 leaders that there are still billions to raise.
Mark Sheard, CEO of World Vision UK, said: “World Vision is pleased to see the G7 prioritise education and gender equality during the recovery from Covid-19 and we congratulate their decision to put girls at the heart of “build back better”. We welcome the UK governments’ pledge of £430 million for girls' education over the next 5 years, which equates to an average of £86 million per year.”
But he stressed that, though a “good first step” the amount still falls short of what is needed for the UK Government to meaningfully pursue key education targets.
Today’s announcement comes after both the EU and Italy committed €700m and €25m respectively. All these amounts go towards the fundraising target of $5bn to support the work of the Global Partnership for Education over the next five years. The final total will be announced at the Global Education Summit in July—also hosted by the UK Government, and Kenya.
World Vision’s Tony Baker, Senior Education Advisor at World Vision said, “This G7 is not a business-as-usual meeting. The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest disruption to education in modern memory, affecting at its height 1.6 billion children – or over 90% of the global student population.
“Prior to the pandemic, 258 million children of primary and secondary school age – including 132 million girls – were already failing to access education. Now it is estimated that 11 million more primary and secondary school age children, over 5 million of whom are girls, are at risk of not returning to school. The G7 must do everything it possibly can to give children a chance to learn.
“The UK’s £430m commitment is significant, but it’s a drop in the ocean when compared to the total investment needed in global education. Indeed, if urgent action isn’t taken by all governments to ensure sufficient education funding, UNESCO estimates that the funding gap to reach SDG4 could increase to $200 billion annually due to COVID-19.”
The UK is one of the first G7 member countries to announce its contribution to Global Partnership for Education, the largest fund dedicated to education in developing countries. Mr Baker urged the UK government to ensure rhetoric around education funding becomes reality: “These funding promises must be resourced and fulfilled. We hope that the UK’s commitment inspires other G7 countries to go one better, so the $5B target is surpassed!”
For more information or comment, please contact:
Reace Novello, Public Relations strategy manager WVUK is +44 (0)7583 985528
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit www.wvi.org or follow us on Twitter @WorldVision