RIYADH: The Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has pledged $200 million to the 2021-2025 Raise Your Hand financing campaign of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), it was announced on Tuesday.
GPE is a partnership and funding platform that aims to strengthen education systems in lower-income countries and increase the number of children in school and learning.
The announcement was made at the Middle East launch of GPE’s Case for Investment, which calls on global leaders to pledge at least $5 billion toward education in 90 lower-income countries and territories.
“Our objective is to raise $400 million in the Arab countries,” Serigne Mbaye Thiam, GPE board vice chair and Senegal’s minister of water and sanitation, told Arab News on the first day of his three-day visit to Saudi Arabia.
“GPE welcomes this generous pledge from leading regional organizations. We believe this is going to encourage other funds to contribute.”
IsDB has pledged $200 million in concessional loans to boost lower-income countries’ access to finance for education, representing half the total sought from the Arab Coordination Group of Arab financial development institutions.
Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, pledged to contribute $2.5 million.
“With contributions from donors like the IsDB and Dubai Cares, GPE’s financing campaign is an opportunity for Arab leaders to step up and transform the education system for the world’s most vulnerable children with a chance to learn and access education,” Thiam said.
“We know that the Middle Eastern countries have a deeply rooted tradition of generosity and dedication to quality education,” he added.
“Gulf countries have played a vital role in supporting education systems in lower-income countries. Education is the key to creating a more peaceful, equitable and prosperous world.”
The Raise Your Hand campaign will culminate on July 28-29 in London at a landmark summit to finance GPE.
The summit will be co-hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Thiam said.