10 bln USD education facility launched at UN

UNITED NATIONS. KAZINFORM An education finance facility aiming to unlock 10 billion U.S. dollars was launched Friday at the UN headquarters at the support of the world body as well the World Bank and regional development banks.

At the launch, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, accompanied by his special envoy for global education Gordon Brown, received a 1.5-million-signature petition by Pakistan and Bangladesh youth calling for better education funding, which added to some existing 10 million signatures, Xinhua reports.

"I welcome this petition, and encourage support for a new International Finance Facility for Education to mobilize new and additional funding," Guterres said.

The IFFEd, put forward by the UN chief, aims to help countries achieve the fourth goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which calls on governments to deliver equitable, quality education for all.

"Today 260 million children are not in school," said Brown at a following press briefing, adding that in 2030 on current trends, about 800 million or half the world's children will leave school without qualifications, failing the UN 2030 goal.

The former British prime minister said the IFFEd is in talks with 20 possible contributors on financial guarantees and aims to make every one billion U.S. dollars in aid "deliver four billion USD of new educational investment."

Brown, who also chairs a commission that first recommended the facility, said the IFFEd plans to fund 200 million school places in its first allocations.

Regarding some 75 million children in conflict zones and emergencies with their education interrupted, Brown told Xinhua that only 2 percent of humanitarian aid is going to education.

He noted his efforts are trying to change the basis on which humanitarian aid is provided, trying to include "not just food, shelter and health care, but also the rights to education."

Vice President of Human Development at the World Bank Annette Dixon welcomed the IFFEd, saying "countries need to invest more building their young people's education achievement levels in order to secure pathways to economic growth and poverty reduction."

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