At the World Education Forum in Dakar in April 2000, the international community pledged that: “no countries seriously committed to Education for All will be thwarted in their achievement of this goal by a lack of resources” (Article 10, Dakar Framework for Action). However, despite overall increased investment in basic education, large funding gaps are still hindering progress towards the attainment of the Education for All (EFA) goals by 2015.
Furthermore, the effects of the economic and financial crisis are jeopardizing the strong advances made in education since the year 2000.
Since the bulk of basic education financing comes from domestic resources, the strong political will of governments for national resource mobilization is a critical factor. Governments are encouraged to invest 4-6 per cent of GNP and 15-20 per cent of public expenditure in education, depending on the country’s demographic and economic status.
Besides an increase in domestic resources, progress in education requires an augmentation in external resources. Donors need to raise an additional $16 billion annually to achieve some of the EFA goals in low-income countries by 2015. There is also a need to improve the effectiveness of aid by better aligning with national priorities and harmonizing and coordinating diverse financial sources.The Global Partnership for Education, formely called EFA Fast Track Initiative, supports low-income countries to speed up their progress toward the achievement of the EFA goals by 2015.
The critical lack of financing calls for partners to explore innovative financing approaches for education which can act as an important supplement to, and catalyst for, more efficient use of scarce resources.
The hard-won gains in education will not be preserved without improving resources for vulnerable populations, especially in African countries and conflict areas.
For the most recent data on national and international funding of education, see the EFA Global Monitoring Report.