International Finance Facility for Education Prepares to Launch
Photo by Children and Young People Living for Peace, Nigeria
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UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed encouraged governments to increase domestic financing for education and called on the international community to help address national funding shortfalls for education.

The International Finance Facility for Education is anticipated to become operational in early 2020 and provide 200 million new school places, thus promoting achievement of SDG 4.

The Facility will pool donor resources and use public-sector financing to leverage private-sector funds, generating around USD 10 billion in additional funding for children’s education.

22 April 2019: UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed encouraged governments to increase domestic financing for education and called on the international community to help address national funding shortfalls for education, at a high-level breakfast meeting in Washington, DC, US to discuss the design of the International Finance Facility for Education.

The proposed Facility is expected to pool donor resources and use public sector financing to leverage private sector funds, generating around USD 10 billion in additional funding for children’s education. The blended finance Facility is anticipated to become operational in early 2020 and provide 200 million new school places, thus promoting achievement of SDG 4 (quality education for all). The Facility was originally a recommendation of the UN and World Bank’s Education Commission, proposed in September 2016.

In her remarks, Mohammed urged countries to prioritize education from early childhood to adulthood, noting that funding shortfalls for education are projected to rise to USD 90 billion by 2030, while traditional official development assistance (ODA) has stagnated in real terms since 2010, and declined in relative terms.

Looking forward to the operationalization of the Facility, Mohammed cautioned that countries should be supported with a mix of financing that does not result in unmanageable levels of debt. She welcomed the Facility’s requirement that multilateral development banks conduct such analysis before issuing loans. She also said fragmentation of efforts must be avoided, with respect to the work of other international partnerships for education, including the Global Partnership for Education and the Education Cannot Wait fund.

At the World Bank 2019 Spring Meetings in Washington DC, representatives of the World Bank, Global Partnership for Education, Education Cannot Wait, UN agencies and governments endorsed the Facility as the arrangement that completes the international financial architecture supporting global education financing. The EU, Netherlands and the UK have been key players in supporting the design of the Facility, with help from the Rockefeller Foundation and Echidna Giving as well as pro bono contributions from a law and financial advisory firm.

Countries will review progress toward SDG 4 at the July 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). [Deputy Secretary-General Remarks]


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