The GPE replenishment marks the beginning of a new era in education financing to reverse the trend of declining aid for education. Experts and world leaders say that a significant increase in financing is needed to tackle the global education crisis. The International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (Education Commission) recommends that GPE be scaled up to US$2 billion a year in 2020 and US$4 billion a year in 2030. This would introduce to the education sector a fund similar to those that have demonstrated large-scale success in the health sector. GPE endorses that vision.

As a first step, GPE is seeking to replenish its finances for the three years 2018 to 2020, with a goal of reaching US$2 billion a year by 2020. This will enable the partnership to deliver better learning and equity outcomes for 870 million children and youth in 89 countries. GPE’s ambition over the following decade will require this amount to double to US$4 billion a year by 2030.

“Educating the next generation is the best investment we can make in our future prosperity. The Global Partnership for Education’s support to Malawi is vital. GPE’s focus on strengthening the education system helps to improve the effectiveness of my Government’s investments in education. My Government welcomes contributions from our development partners to the GPE fund.”

Arthur Peter Mutharika President of Malawi

Achieving this level of financing will require strong leadership from the world’s major donor countries and new nations to start making contributions. While the majority of the financing is expected to come from traditional and new donor governments, there is a clear role for other contributions, including philanthropic support.

Indeed, private foundations are already stepping up their engagement with GPE and signaling the potential for increased financial investment. In addition to donating to the pooled fund that enables GPE’s core work, there are now new opportunities for targeting thematic and geographic priorities as well as making investments in knowledge and innovation.

By 2020 we expect all donors—public and private, traditional and new—to reconvene and commit further support for reaping the benefits of a continuing investment in global education financing.

“We have the opportunity to create a learning generation. We cannot leave any child behind, and GPE’s successful replenishment is a crucial part of the scale up of education financing that is so urgently needed.”

Gordon Brown United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and former prime minister of the United Kingdom

With new donor investments from 2018 to 2020 GPE will:

  • Support 89 developing countries to drive improved quality and access to education for 870 million children and youth
  • Provide education plan implementation grants to 67 developing countries, covering 64% of out-of-school children
  • Support 30 developing countries to develop new plans for education, covering 40% of out-of-school children
  • Develop education sector investment cases to attract additional financing and align it behind education plans, initially in 10 countries and scaling up to all 89 countries
  • Drive increased domestic resource mobilization, building on the success to date
  • Drive quality improvements through learning assessment support and
  • Drive data improvements through strengthened education management systems

GPE’s support to developing country partners would result in the following gains:

  • 19 million additional children completing primary school, including 9.4 million girls and over 10.8 million children in countries affected by fragility or conflict
  • 6.6 million additional children completing lower secondary school, including 3.9 million girls and 3.9 million children in countries affected by fragility and conflict
  • 1.7 million teachers trained2
  • 23,800 classrooms built2
  • 204 million textbooks distributed2

Achieving these outcomes will require all partners to increase their financing, with

These investments would see GPE operating at the recommended scale of US$2 billion a year by 2020 and start the scale-up of global education financing. It would bring new hope that the next generation of girls and boys will be equipped with the skills necessary to contribute to economic and social prosperity.



It is the responsibility of national governments to finance their public education programs and, globally, the vast majority of funds are provided from domestic sources. It is estimated that 97% of the additional global education financing needed by 2030 will be sourced from increased tax revenue, largely from economic growth and efforts to ensure that governments allocate an appropriate share of total spending to education.3 But the lowest-income countries and those facing humanitarian crises will continue to need external support if they are to not fall further behind.

GPE’s focus on strengthening and financing education sector plans, provides a base and complements other new global financing mechanisms. The Education Cannot Wait Fund, which GPE is a key partner in developing, aims to reverse the long-standing neglect of education in humanitarian emergencies and ensure that crisis-affected children and youth receive a safe, free and quality education. The Education Commission is developing a new International Financing Facility for Education, which seeks to scale up financing from multilateral development banks.

14 years old, Ghana

Abdulrahman Ruhainatu lives in West Mamprusi, one of the poorest districts in the north of Ghana. She is top of her class in science and wants to be a nurse.

“In the last two years, there were so many people dying in this village from cholera and other diseases. If you want to be a nurse you have to study science.”

Ruhainatu wants to go to university and says,

“when I finish there I will come back to this community and help”

Ghana has received US$95 million in GPE support over the last decade; this helped improve policy and planning, and strengthen school supervision and teacher training. The most recent grant targeted 75 of the most deprived districts helping to institutionalize in-service training and provide small grants to schools to upgrade their facilities and learning materials. Ruhainatu and a million other girls and boys in Ghana have a better opportunity to find productive employment.

Photo Credit: GPE/ Stephan Bachenheimer


is a foundation for economic prosperity

  • If all students in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty—the equivalent of a 12% drop in global poverty.4
  • If every child in low-income countries completed secondary school by 2030, income per capita would increase by 75% by 2050 and poverty elimination would be brought forward by 10 years.5
  • An individual’s earnings increase by about 10% for each additional year of schooling: rates of return are highest in poorer regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, reflecting the scarcity of skilled workers.6
  • The return for each dollar invested in education is more than US$5 in additional gross earnings in low-income countries and US$2.50 in lower middle-income countries.7

improves stability, peace and security

  • Higher levels of schooling within a country can significantly cut the risk of conflict, but equity matters—unequal access to education can double the possibility of conflict.8
  • Increasing secondary school enrollment from 30% to 81% is estimated to reduce the probability of civil war by almost two-thirds if education is distributed equally across the population.9
  • Every year of schooling decreases the chance of youth engaging in violent conflict by 20%.10
  • Youth without an education can be nine times more likely to be recruited by rebel groups.11
  • A lack of opportunity for education for displaced and refugee children can perpetuate cycles of migration; this was one of the motivating factors for Syrian families seeking refuge in Europe in 2015.12

improves health outcomes

  • Educated youth and adults are more likely to be healthy, to make healthier choices for their families and to seek health care when needed.
  • An educated mother is much more likely to have her children vaccinated and to ensure her family sleeps under mosquito nets.
  • Out-of-school girls are three times more likely to be infected with HIV than girls who remain at school.13
  • A recent study showed that every additional year of secondary school significantly reduced the chances of individuals later contracting HIV.14

COUNTRIES ELIGIBLE FOR GPE FUNDING are home to approximately 870 million children and youth and 78% of the world’s out of school children

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Leverage Fund

Advocacy & Social Accountability

Knowledge and Innovation Exchange

Education Sector Plan Development Grants

Education Sector Program Implementation Grants