The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) has announced the disbursement of 381 million U.S. dollars to help 47 countries respond to coronavirus-related school closures and ensure children are continuing to learn during the pandemic.
In a statement made available to Xinhua on Thursday, GPE said an additional 20 million dollars is being provided to a joint initiative managed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, United Nations International Children’s Fund and the World Bank, that will ensure regional and global efficiencies and knowledge sharing.
“There is a real risk that millions of the most vulnerable children, especially girls, will never set foot in a classroom again,” said Alice Albright, GPE’s chief executive officer, in the statement.
“GPE is committed to ensuring that no child’s education is left behind because of COVID-19. Our emergency funds are helping partner countries keep children engaged in learning and make sure they can return when schools reopen,” Albright added.
Nearly 720 million students are still out of school in developing countries, where the combined impacts of school closures and economic hardship due to the coronavirus threaten to reverse decades of hard-won gains in education, according to the statement.
Albright said the funds are for developing countries to improve access to remote learning, support the safe reopening of schools and strengthen the resilience of the education sector to respond to future emergencies.
“It’s essential that distance learning programs are reaching the poorest and most marginalized girls and boys and are not just accessible to the rich and able,” said Serigne Mbaye Thiam, GPE vice board chair.
“GPE’s emergency funding ensures that countries get technical and financial support to sustain learning for all their children,” Mbaye added.
GPE is a partnership and funding platform that galvanizes global and national support for education in developing countries, focusing on the poorest and most vulnerable children and youth. Enditem