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World leaders pledge support for universal education

This impact story was brought to you by A World at School, Gordon Brown's Office, Plan International and RESULTS


On June 26, world leaders came together for the Global Partnership for Education’s Replenishment Conference. The Conference provided an opportunity for leaders to make pledges to support access to education for 29 million kids around the world by seeking replenishment funds of $3.5 billion through 2018.

On the same day, 15,000 people gathered together at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD for Thank You Festival co-presented by Global Citizen and World Childhood Foundation. Thank You Festival was an opportunity to say THANK YOU to the families, communities, faith-based organizations, charities, and governments who are helping children survive and thrive, and together calling for an end to preventable child deaths and for sustained US public funding for all poverty focused development programs.


Working closely with leading advocacy partners like RESULTS, Plan, and Global Campaign for Education, Global Poverty Project committed to building support for the Global Partnership for Education. As a result, global citizens worldwide took 142k actions supporting child survival and protection, including 28,361 global citizens signing the petition supporting Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

In the UK, we also launched #BecauseOfSchool as an online and offline action that bridged the gap between stories of receiving a good education in higher income countries and the ambitions of going to school in poorer countries. GPE loved the concept, adopting #BecauseOfSchool as their own campaign, along with more than 200 other NGOs across the world! By working as a single collaborative platform, #BecauseofSchool generated 41 million online impressions. Specifically, global citizens sent 2284 tweets supporting GPE to Raj Shah, Administrator of USAID. Similarly, in Australia 15 ambassadors took the #BetterSchoolsCampaigns offline to raise public awareness about the GPE.


At the Global Partnership for Education’s replenishment conference on June 26th in Brussels, the world came together to make their commitments to the efforts towards universal education. In total, GPE raised an inspirational $28.5bn towards the replenishment, of which $26bn came from co-financing from beneficiary countries. Global citizens’ actions brought pressure down on a number of donor countries, whose pledging that day is set to affect the lives of more than 6 million children by 2018.

The U.S. made a historic $40m commitment to GPE at the Replenishment Conference. This is double what the U.S. gave last year! Later, at Thank You Festival, Raj Shah, Administrator of USAID, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our CEO Hugh Evans and MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, committed to work with Congress to enable a further $50m commitment to GPE in 2015. These commitments came after 81 Members of Congress signed the Dear Colleague letter supporting GPE. Our own Global Citizen campaign also conducted 19 petition handovers to the officers of leaders in the United States Government.

Despite Global Poverty Project’s best efforts, Australia only committed $140 million over four years. This represented a cut of almost 50 per cent against their previous commitment. The cut occurred in a broader budgetary environment where over $15 billion in cuts have been made to Australia’s foreign aid budget. Australia’s GPE pledge highlights the importance of ensuring the Australian foreign aid budget is returned to a growth trajectory with an end goal of being 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income.

The hard work of global citizens also helped secure a pledge from the UK of £300 million over 4 years! That’s a 50% increase on their last pledge and a huge step towards giving 29 million more children the chance to take their first steps into a classroom and a world of possibilities.

As a result of the impact of global citizens’ actions around the world, GPE’s Charles Tapp said, "Thank you, global citizens! You are truly amazing. Your tireless efforts have had a really big impact on securing big pledges from the UK and USA and keeping Australia in the game. Canada still to pledge so lots to do there. Let there be no misunderstanding: your advocacy efforts have real impact, not just on governments to provide funding, but on helping us get more kids into school and changing their lives."


Global Poverty Project will continue to work with Congress and USAID to build momentum for Global Partnership for Education. As we announced on stage at the Brussels replenishment, we will utilize the power of our key events including the Global Citizen Festival – our 60,000-person flagship event with more than 3 billion media impressions – to shine the international spotlight on the global learning crisis. We’ll use the power of Global Citizen to mobilize 50,000 actions, including emails, phone calls and petitions to key government decision-makers. We’ll also routinely produce original online content - as well as generating 25 million print, TV and online media impressions globally - that communicates education results and progress around GPE. Finally, we’re setting out to have at least 50 meetings with GPE donor and partner government representatives to hold them account.

As we look towards Global Citizen Festival on 27 September 2014 in Central Park, New York, we’re building up our campaigning around GPE in Canada, whose government has yet to make their pledge. We’ve already started an email action targeting Christian Paradis, the Canadian Minister for International Development and we know that the Canadian government is listening to you all, so we have every reason to demonstrate the power of the Global Citizen movement to accomplish a further exciting announcement later this year.