Thursday, June 12, 2014 1:37 pm
Abuja – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has urged donors agencies to raise 3.5 billion dollars (about N570.50 billion) to support education in poor countries.
The call is contained in a statement released by UNESCO on Thursday in Abuja, ahead of a two-day conference on Global Partnership for Education’s Replenishment Pledging, beginning in Brussels, Belgium, on June 25.
The statement was signed by Ms Kate Redman, Communications and Advocacy Specialist of UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report.
According to the statement, the continuing drop in funds for education is cause for serious concern especially as so many girls and boys are still out of school.
The statement said that increasing external support for education was an ethical and development imperative, as it would make huge difference in the quality and access to education in poor countries.
“Education is a long-term investment, not an expense venture and we owe it to the children of the world, particularly the poorest and most marginalised.
“International donors and developing countries’ governments should step up and commit more funding to education,” it said.
It noted that aid flowing into global education sector had fallen by 10 per cent, and expressed worry that donors were backing away from education as a development priority.
“This worrying fall in aid is in the context of a 26 billion dollars annual finance gap for education,” it stated.
According to the statement, unless the negative trend is reversed, it will be unlikely to meet the global education goals by 2030.
The statement therefore urged governments to urgently improve their domestic financing, including better management of their tax systems, so as not to put their countries development in jeopardy.
“As a sector, education is suffering a double disadvantage; not only is it receiving the smallest proportion of humanitarian appeals, but it is also receiving one of the smallest proportions of requests that it makes for funding.
“In 2013 education received 40 per cent of the funds it called for from humanitarian aid,” it said.