New funding to support education in developing countries over the next seven years, through the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), was announced Thursday by EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.
Speaking at the Global Partnership for Education's Second Replenishment Pledging Conference in Brussels, he underlined that the new 375 million euro (USD 510 million) support will contribute to providing basic education in the 60 countries where the Global Partnership for Education currently works.
"As a former teacher myself, I have always been strongly committed to ensuring that all children receive a quality education, no matter where they live," said Piebalgs.
"That's why we are proud to partner with the GPE on today's event - it shows our firm ongoing commitment to education, and I hope today's event will also encourage other donors to redouble their efforts; not only to get children into schools but also to improve the standards of education they receive there." Total EU funding for education in developing countries is expected to total 4.5 billion euro between 2014-2020, he noted.
Julia Gillard, former prime minister of Australia and Chair of the Global Partnership's Board of Directors, chaired today's event, together with Piebalgs.
Over 40 education ministers from developing countries as well as representatives of international organisations are attending the 2-day meeting.
Queen Rania Abdullah of Jordan, in a video message to the conference , noted that 60 million girls around the world are out of schools and millions of children in countries like Syria are deprived of education.
She lamented that educational aid has dropped by 10 percent and ended her message saying "please invest in education." The United Nations' Children's Fund, UNICEF, in a statement called on the international community to commit to giving all children access to school and learning.
Today, one in 11 children do not go to school- denied opportunity and hope because they are poor, have a disability, belong to an ethnic minority, or live in a remote or war-torn region. The majority are girls.
A much larger number of children - as many as 250 million children - either do not reach grade 4, or do so without learning how to read, write or do basic math, it noted.