Donors fail education test but poor countries get a good grade at key pledging conference

Published: 26th June 2014

The support required to get 57 million children into primary school fell more than a billion dollars short of its target – that’s the disappointing outcome of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE)’s replenishment conference in Brussels, says international agency Oxfam.

Key donors Germany, the United States and the Netherlands, made minimal pledges, while the European Commission, the UK, Norway, Sweden and Denmark offered substantially more.  But, in an unprecedented move, 27 developing countries came up with strong commitments to increase their education spending by $26 billion over the next four years.

Donors only managed to mobilize $2.1 billion, when $3.5 billion over four years was set as the target by the GPE, in order to support children’s education worldwide.

Sandra Dworack, Oxfam’s education expert, said:

“57 million children are still not in primary school. It is unacceptable that major donors like Germany, the US and the Netherlands have not stepped up to the challenge of getting them learning. If these governments care at all about supporting a partnership that will get more boys and girls into education - and train their teachers - they can redeem themselves by putting more cash on the table in the next months.”

“Developing countries are doing their part by boosting education spending. Donors should be providing more money to help these poor countries raise their own resources through more and fairer taxation. The international community should also take action to crack down on tax dodging by corporations and wealthy individuals at the global level and ensure the revenues are spent on education and other essential services.”

Contact information

In Brussels: Angela Corbalan on or + 32 (0) 473 56 22 60, @AngelaCorbalan.

Notes to Editors

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is a key instrument for galvanizing financial and technical support for education in developing countries. The GPE has succeeded in cutting by half the number of children out of school since the fund was set up in 2002.

For more background on current education challenges and civil society demands for this week’s GPE replenishment conference.

Read Oxfam’s new report on the post 2015 development agenda.