The UK co-hosted, along with the Kenyan government, the Global Education Summit on July 29, 2021, in London. The summit which was aimed at raising US$5.0 billion for the Global Partnership for Education, the world’s only international partnership focused on providing quality education, over a five-year period, fell short by US$1.0 billion and was only able to raise US$4.0 billion. This is despite the dire need, with 1.6 billion children and young people cut off from school at the height of the pandemic and a real risk of 24 million children never returning to school.
While the UK pledged £430 million (US$577 million) to GPE, at the G7 Summit, a 15% increase on its previous pledge, some civil society groups were quick to lay part of the blame for the failure of the summit on the UK. These groups argued that the UK failed in its duty as co-host and cited the fact that the UK, while pledging to GPE, had simultaneously cut some of its development assistance to the education sector, sending the wrong signal.