Last month (July 2014), I attended the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Second Replenishment conference in Brussels, as one of 30 youth delegates from around the world. We were joined by more than 600 delegates from civil society, partnering NGO’s and the private sector to bring attention for the need to provide substantial funding for global education. Over the course of the replenishment conference, more than 80 financial pledges were made, which collectively raised $2.1 billion dollars (NOTE: this does not include the committments made by 27 developing countries to increase their own education budgets by US$26 billion, which represents an increase of 25 percent between 2015-2018). Unfortunately, those pledges did not meet GPE’S goal of $3.5 billion dollars, a goal set to reach the world’s most vulnerable and marginalized youth.
As the US representative, to the United Nations GEFI Youth Advocacy Group, I am grateful for the United States leadership to pledge $90million dollars for one year but I still think the United States could and should do more. Now some of you may be asking yourself, why should we care about the GPE replenishment? You should care because currently there is nearly 58 million children out of school around the world and many of them are girls, youth with disability and children living in conflict. If we want to prevent poverty, conflict and child marriage, we have to start by educating the children of today. GPE has the ability and will to reach those children, who are sometimes forgotten and overlooked.
The conference – provided a great opportunity for youth and adult leaders to think more critically about the challenges preventing a world at school and of course funding was at the top of the list. I hope moving forward that the leadership shown by the developing countries to increase domestic education funding, will help creat the political will to place every child in school, come 2015 and beyond. To learn more about the conference and pledges made, please check the links below.
Global Education First Initiative Youth Advocacy Group – Press Release
Plan Interantional-Press Release
Global Partnership for Education: