Pakistan, other countries hail global funding plan for schools in poor nations.

With the 'Transforming Education Summit' underway at the UN General Assembly, leaders of Pakistan and several other countries Saturday backed the establishment of the first-ever international funding mechanism for schools to widen access to education in some of the world's poorest countries.

The International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd) will directly address the devastating global education crisis and learning inequalities that have been exacerbated by the deadly combination of COVID-19, climate change, and conflicts, according to a UN press release.

The facility targets the urgent needs of lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) which are home to more than half of the world's children and youth and where 3 out of 4 young people are leaving school without the basic skills to thrive.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres convened the historic Summit to tackle this chronic and deepening education crisis - a fundamental issue which could derail progress on the entire sustainable development agenda and called on the international community to operationalize the International Finance Facility for Education to help avoid a 'generational catastrophe.' The innovation behind IFFEd has the power to transform education finance.

Donor governments and multilateral development banks have come together to launch IFFEd and provide an initial $2 billion in additional affordable funding for education programs to be disbursed starting in 2023, the press release said. IFFEd could unlock an extra $10 billion of additional financing for education and skills by 2030.

The ground-breaking new facility uses a mix of sovereign guarantees and donor grants, to provide affordable education financing. In the current resource-constrained environment, IFFEd is a game-changer for both donors and LMICs, as it multiplies donor dollars seven times as compared to traditional aid, according to the press release.

On the opening day of the Summit, more than 100 leading economists and world leaders signed an open letter calling for the launch of IFFEd to transform the lives of millions of children and young people around the world.

The Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK have been at the forefront of the design of this innovation since the start. The Facility is in the final stages of registration in Switzerland. IFFEd is a direct response to education budget cuts around the world and the need to leverage scarce resources in the face of compounding crises. From 2019-2020, 43...

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