At the G7 Summit being held this week in Cornwall, the UK government has pledged £430 million of new UK aid funding for education for children in the world’s poorest countries, with a focus on girls’ education.
The funding will go to the Global Partnership for Education.
Responding to the pledge, Sightsavers has acknowledged that this is a welcome start. But much more is needed to address the global learning crisis that has affected children around the world, particularly girls and boys with disabilities. Sightsavers has also called for additional funding to be committed at the upcoming Global Education Summit being held in London in July.
Dom Haslam, Sightsavers’ director of policy and programme strategy, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the education crisis. This has seen education inequalities compounded for children who were already marginalised, including girls and boys with disabilities. The UK government, which is hosting the Global Education Summit next month, must demonstrate leadership on inclusive education by investing further and pushing other nations to help achieve the Global Partnership for Education’s £5 billion target. These financial commitments must be underpinned by policies that promote equity and equality, with targeted investment for children with disabilities.
“This commitment must also be viewed in the context of the wider cuts to the UK’s aid budget in the current and previous year. It is imperative that the ODA budget is returned to its former levels in the next financial year as the current cuts will impact on girls’ ability to participate in education, undermine the UK’s leadership, and reduce the ability of the UK government to call on other governments to step up.
“The UK government has committed to being a global leader on disability inclusion and has previously been instrumental in driving forward disability inclusion on the board of the Global Partnership for Education. It is critical that they continue to play this role.”