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Islamic Development Bank and Dubai Cares Donates $202.5m to  Global Partnership for Education

BY DAYO ADESULU

The Islamic Development Bank and Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, today committed $202.5 million towards GPE’s 2021-2025 “Raise Your Hand” financing campaign, with the Islamic Development Bank pledging $200 million and Dubai Cares contributing $2.5 million.

The pledges – the first from the Middle East region – use innovative financing approaches to help transform education in lower-income countries.

The announcement was made at the Middle East launch of GPE’s Case for Investment, which calls on global leaders to pledge at least $5 billion towards education in 90 lower-income countries and territories. COVID-19 has hit vulnerable children in these countries especially hard, creating the biggest education emergency in recent history.

With a $2.5 million pledge, Dubai Cares has doubled its previous contributions to GPE in 2014 and 2018. Dubai Cares was the first non-government and philanthropic organization to ever contribute funding to GPE. Now, as the first philanthropic organization to pledge to GPE’s current 2021-25 financing campaign, Dubai Cares has reinforced its commitment to improving the future of vulnerable children and youth around the world by helping to provide access to quality education.

The Islamic Development Bank has pledged $200 million in concessional loans to boost lower-income country access to finance for education. The contribution represents half of the total $400 million sought from the Arab Coordination Group, a grouping of Arab Financial Development institutions.

The full $400 million from the Group would unlock $100 million from the GPE Multiplier, an innovative financing tool. Together, the leveraged contributions would yield a total of half a billion dollars towards quality education for children in 37 GPE partner countries which are also members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

IsDB President, Dr. Bandar Al-Hajjar, stated:

“The partnership between IsDB and GPE provides innovative financing opportunities for the Arab funds in the region to respond to the threat that COVID-19 poses to domestic financing for education. The proposed Arab Coordination Group – GPE blended financing mechanism will create much-needed concessional funding for education – an essential step to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, on quality education for all.”

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Minister Serigne Thiam, GPE Board Vice-Chair and Minister of Water and Sanitation of Senegal said:

With a deeply rooted tradition of generosity, Gulf countries have played a vital role in supporting education systems in lower-income countries. With contributions from donors like the Islamic Development Bank and Dubai Cares, GPE’s replenishment represents a real opportunity for regional leaders to step up and transform education for the world’s most vulnerable children. Education is the key to creating a more peaceful, equitable and prosperous world.”

His Excellency Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares and GPE Regional Champion said:

“Supporting GPE’s efforts in a sustainable way through the continuous renewal of financial resources is a shared responsibility that requires a bold vision, close cooperation and enduring commitment. If education isn’t given the attention it deserves now, an entire generation on this planet could miss out on their education; hence lose hope for a brighter future. We are now at this tipping point.”

The launch event featured remarks by high-level dignitaries from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries along with other senior officials representing Arab development funds. The event was part of a three-day visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by Serigne Mbaye Thiam, GPE Vice-Chair.

GPE’s financing campaign comes at a critical time for education worldwide. As COVID-19 threatens to reverse hard-won gains for children, governments need urgent support to secure the tools, teachers, and means to deliver quality education for every girl and boy.

Fully funded, GPE’s support would:

    • Enable 175 million primary-age children to learn,
    • Reach 140 million students with professionally trained teachers,
    • Get 88 million more children in school, more than half of them girls,
    • Save $16 billion through more efficient spending.

The “Raise Your Hand” campaign will culminate on July 28-29 in London at a landmark summit to finance GPE, co-hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta.

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