As the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledges £430 million to improve education in the world’s poorest countries, ActionAid International welcomes new funding for the Global Partnership for Education, but believes it only scratches the surface of what’s needed to transform the financing of education.
David Archer, Head of Public Services at ActionAid International, says:
“The UK government’s pledge to the Global Partnership for Education is a start and all G7 pledges to replenish the fund are welcome. But they don’t come close to plugging the estimated $200 billion gap in education financing due to the economic fallout of the pandemic.
“At the same time as the UK government is promising to prioritise girls’ education, it is making cuts to the aid budget – including education – which will have a devastating impact on women and girls. We need to address the challenges that are preventing girls from being able to go to school in the first place, ensuring they are not forced into early marriage or child labour. Cuts to aid will impact work to tackle these barriers to learning.
“More widely, governments of developing countries know that increasing national education budgets is essential for sustainable, long-term improvements. The G7 has a huge role to play in enabling this through action on debt to free up spending on education and health, expanding corporate tax reforms to make sure developing countries benefit and stopping the imminent return to austerity policies by the IMF as these block spending on teachers and nurses, most notably through imposing constraints on public sector wage bills.”
Ahead of next month’s Global Education Summit, co-hosted by the UK and Kenya, ActionAid is calling on rich countries, including the G7, to:
- Act on debt to free up spending on education and health – present debt suspension arrangements do not reach enough countries, do not cover all creditors and do not extend for long enough.
- Expand corporate tax reforms to make sure developing countries benefit – the agreement on a minimum corporate tax rate agreed by G7 finance ministers will not help developing countries claim a fair share of tax revenues.
- Stop the imminent return to austerity policies by the IMF as these block spending on teachers and nurses, most notably through imposing constraints on public sector wage bills.
For more information and interviews contact Jenna.Pudelek@actionaid.org.