UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called on the G7 to invest in girls’ education, noting that it is one of the smartest investments to be made post-pandemic in order to avoid a lost generation.
Johnson announced this during his visit to a Country Durham school on May 14, 2021, along with Julia Gillard (Chair of the Global Partnership for Education (GEP) and former Prime Minister of Australia). The Prime Minister of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, also partook in the event virtually.
The UK and Kenya will co-host the Global Education Summit in July 2021 with the aim of raising £3.7 billion (US$5.0 billion) for GEP over the next five years to fund its work on ensuring access to education in 90 countries.
The UK has yet to announce its contribution to GPE, though historically it is the largest donor to the organization. UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Dominic Raab, has stated that the UK will be more generous than in previous years. In 2018, the UK provided £225 million (US$302 million) over a three-year period.
Johnson did, however, use his visit to the County Durham school to announce £55 million (US$73 million) to establish 'What Works Hub for Global Education'. The Hub will seek to share knowledge on "what works" to improve girls’ education, with a special focus on Kenya, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Pakistan.
The UK government also unveiled a new five-year (2021-2026) global action plan on girls' education that commits the UK government to:
- Shape a renewed international effort to ensure the world is on track to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goal on 'Quality Education' (SDG 4);
- Use its network of British Ambassadors and High Commissioners to support committed national governments in enhancing their efforts to improve girls’ education; and
- Establish global public goods for education, in part through the creation of the new What Works Hub for Global Education, to support evidence-based and bold reforms.
News article - The Telegraph
News article - BBC
Press release - UK government
Policy paper - UK government