Joint programme between global foundation, Education Above All (EAA) and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), join forces at UNGA for major announcement set to diversify the way education is financed.
Qatar - Doha, 29 September 2018 – EAA, and the ISFD’s out-of-school programme set to transform the way that low-income countries can access loan funding to invest in enrolling out-of-school children in primary education.
During the United Nations General Assembly, at an event co-hosted with UNESCO, and the World Bank, EAA and the ISFD signed this important partnership agreement. The Government of Mali also announced they would be one of the first countries to sign up to the programme with a US$31 million loan. This will support trilateral funding partnership with EAA and the Qatar Fund for Development, along with the Education Development Centre (EDC). Mali’s project will have an emphasis on the most marginalized out of school children across the country, as the nation looks to continue its recovery from the 2012 political and security crisis.
With the world struggling to come to terms with the global education funding crisis it is facing, this new programme will help qualifying countries overcome a lack of access to credit on the international financial market. The ISFD, of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), financing programme will be available to low-income IsDB member countries on a concessionary loan basis, for education projects which are co-financed with NGOs, the Government, or private sector.
Education Above All, the global foundation that has advocated for this approach, will also be responsible for monitoring and evaluation of projects in line with its world-leading out-of-school processes that, together with partners, have commitments to provide primary education to over 10 million children so far.
Mali is set to benefit through the Education Development Centre led Programme d’accès à l'éducation pour tous les enfants au Mali/Access to Education for All Children in Mali (PACETEM), which aims to reach almost 600,000 out of school children with quality primary education. The project trains teachers, provides learning materials, works within communities to engage parents, and tracks attendance records, as part of its aim of increasing student retention.
Commenting, the Ministry of National Education, representing the Government of Mali, said:
“The implementation of this project is of the upmost importance since the program will accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in Mali. It constitutes one of the main indicators of the Human Sustainable Development Index, without which Mali cannot benefit from the increased support of the international community. This program, with the recruitment of teachers, will contribute to reducing youth unemployment. Mali is grasping the financing opportunity put forward by the ISFD-EAA funding programme, a support that is sorely needed in Mali’s education system.”
Representing the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development, Director General Dr. Waleed Al Wohaib said:
“We can see that many of our member countries struggle to access finance on the global credit market; with our mandate to promote growth and development for our member countries, we are launching this dedicated fund, with the support of all our members, to finance educational initiatives that will help to improve educational outcomes for the next generation. It is only by giving children access to education that we can truly help lift more families out of poverty and encourage sustained economic growth for our member nations.”
Salimata Youssouf, aged 13, who has just finished the EAA-ISFD catch-up programme, for children at risk of falling behind in Bamako city, Mali, said:
“I am going to school because one day I want to become a Doctor. I didn’t take school seriously before, but now after taking the catch-up programme, I love coming to school. It is more engaging and more interesting, it has helped me see the fun and value in coming to school.”
Education Commission data estimates that every $1 invested in primary education generates $10 in economic returns, and UNESCO has found that every extra year of schooling can add 0.37% to a country’s GDP, and 10% on average to an individual’s earnings. If marginalised and vulnerable out-of-school children miss out on an education, a significant proportion of them will be unable, as adults, to find jobs or start families. Many, without the opportunities that education provides, will become social and economic burdens to their communities or, forced to become economic refugees in their host nations.
It is expected that at least three other IsDB/ISFD member countries will be supported through this programme, with more partnerships set to be announced in coming months.