The Global Education Monitoring Report has shown that the total aid to education between 2011 to 2017 amounted to US$ 12billion. This figure is 4% lower than the amount of aid allocated in 2010, which in turn poses a challenge to meet the targets required to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4)
According to the report, domestic expenditure in low and lower middle income countries cannot cover the costs of reaching SDG4, and so aid is expected to bridge the gap. However, since 2010, aid to education has been stagnant. A bigger challenge posed by the report is that the aid that is given is not allocated to the countries most in need, worsening the prospects of achieving SDG4
Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO said education aid “remains far short of what is needed to achieve SDGs in education, thus putting our commitments at risk.”
“The United States and the United Kingdom remain the two largest donors to basic education, but they reduced their allocations by 11 and 9 per cent respectively between 2014 and 2015. Norway and Germany on the other hand, increased their allocations to basic education by 50 and 34 per cent respectively,” she said.
She said aid must be improved upon by at least six per cent annually even as she appealed to donors not to shift attention from the poorest countries to achieve its education goals. Citing the case of Africa, Bokova, lamented that education aids to sub-Saharan Africa are not being allocated according to needs.
She noted that Sub-Saharan Africa, which is home to over half of the world’s out-of-school children now receives less than half the aid to basic education it obtained in 2002.
“In contrast to trends in bilateral aid to education, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) allocated 77 per cent of its disbursements to sub-Saharan Africa, and 60 per cent to countries affected by instability and conflict,” the statement added.
The GEM report also identified country-specific examples of donors’ biased resource allocation and concluded that aid was not allocated according to out-of- school rates so as to meet the cost of achieving universal education in the affected countries.
The report called on donors to reverse the funding trend to the sector, citing the GPE replenishment campaign, which seeks to raise $3.1b between 2018 and 2020; and $2b annually by 2020.