International Finance Facility Launched to Support SDG 4 Achievement
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
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The UN launched the $10 billion International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd), which proposes an innovative approach to education financing for countries.

In the Facility’s first round of funding, donor countries will provide the IFFEd Facility with approximately US$2 billion in guarantees, which will be leveraged to create approximately $8 billion in new financing.

The Facility aims to help countries invest in and reform their education systems to achieve SDG 4.

11 May 2018: The UN has launched the International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd), with the goal of getting over 260 million children into classrooms. The Facility will support progress on the Sustainable Development Goal on quality education (SDG 4) by addressing issues that deny marginalized youth access to education.

The International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (Education Commission) proposed the IFFEd to serve as a donor and Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) investment mechanism. The IFFEd aims to fill financing gaps with new and additional resources for education. The Commission presented the proposed IFFEd during the 2017 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The UN Secretary-General expressed concern about the “extremely reduced” humanitarian funding dedicated to education.

The UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, launched the Facility with the UN Secretary-General António Guterres at UN Headquarters in New York, US. Three Global Youth Ambassadors from India, Kenya and Sierra Leone delivered a petition signed by 1.5 million youth that calls for increased investment in education. Speaking at the event, the UN Secretary-General expressed concern about the “extremely reduced” humanitarian funding dedicated to education, observing that children’s education is not prioritized during humanitarian crises. He welcomed the Facility, underscoring the importance of increased investment in global education, particularly to ensure quality education in situations with conflicts or emergencies.

In a joint statement, the World Bank Group, African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) welcomed the proposal for the IFFEd, stressing that “urgent and unparalleled action” is needed to create a learning generation. The MDBs stated that they are working together to make the Facility feasible and ensure it expands support to “countries committed to invest in and reform their education systems to reach the SDG targets.”

In the Facility’s first round of funding, donor countries will provide the IFFEd Facility with approximately US$2 billion in guarantees, which will be leveraged to create approximately $8 billion in new financing. The Facility aims to mobilize more than $10 billion for education by blending financing. Countries will be able to access the funding if they meet the following four conditions: evidence of a credible education sector plan; ability to take on additional lending without a high risk of debt distress; agreement to prioritize education within the country’s national budget and increase its domestic education budget if necessary; and agreement on integrating results-based approaches. [UN Press Release] [UN Secretary-General Statement] [MDB Joint Statement] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Proposal for Facility] [Facility Webpage]

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