What they are saying

Queen Rania of Jordan

"Every time I pass by a roadside restaurant and see children working, my heart aches and my heart will continue to ache until I help them go to school"

James Wolfensohn
Former president of the World Bank

During a discussion on the importance of early child development and its impact on sustainable economic development in the developing world - 4 Dec 2009

If the developing world population starts with an intellectual disadvantage as a result of lack of nutrition before the child is born and without the mix of health, of development, of educational benefits, of economic developments … then it is a tremendous loss to our planet, and we in the rich world need to be giving it greater attention.

30 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates
on need for education of children in conflict

. . .if more than 70 million children do not even have the chance to go to school, and more than half of these children live in countries affected by armed conflict - what are these children learning? - more

Ban Ki-Moon
UN Secretary-General
Addressing the Doha Forum on global finance, 30 November 2008

Education is the lifeblood for a nation's future economic growth and prosperity

Koichiro Matsuura
UNESCO Director-General

When financial systems fail, the consequences are highly visible and governments act, [but] when education systems fail the consequences are less visible, but no less real. Unequal opportunities for education fuel poverty, hunger, and child mortality, and reduce prospects for economic growth. That is why governments must act with a greater sense of urgency.

Calling for increased investment in global public goods at World Economic Forum in Davos, 3 February 2009:

“We know that Education for All cannot be achieved without broad-based partnerships. Today is an occasion to look at how we can make these partnerships more effective, both for the benefit of individual learners and for social and economic progress”

Gordon Brown
UK Prime Minister

On the occasion of the launch of the GMR 2009

This report is an urgent wake-up call at this, the half way point towards our goal of achieving education for all by 2015. On current trends, despite important progress, by 2015 at least 30 million children in some of the world's poorest countries will still be out of school. Education is absolutely central to achieving all of our development goals - we know that progress in education is a vital tool in making progress in poverty reduction, heath and nutrition. And education will be the only way to deliver sustainable change, opportunity and hope for all the world's children. At this time of global downturn, we cannot forget our promises to build a better future for them. The price of failure is simply too great.


In a speech to the DfID annual conference, on the development challenges  posed by the global financial crisis – 9 March 2009

"The greatest gift that we could give, the greatest legacy that we could leave, would be for every child in every country to have the chance that 75 million children still do not have today - the chance to go to school, to spell their name, to count their age, and perhaps to learn of the generation that is fighting to make their freedom real.

That is why I agreed last week with President Obama that we will work together towards a new global education partnership to equip the next generation with the skills they need to transform their communities and turn around their lives." - see also BBC coverage

Kevin Watkins
Director, EFA Global Monitoring Report

It will be a sad indictment of rich countries if the way they cope with the financial crisis is to load the cost onto the world’s poor instead of tackling inequalities

Desmond Bermingham
Fellow of the Center for Global Development

Commenting on President Obama's plan to establish a Global Fund for Education (GFE) - Feburary 2009

"There is a tremendous opportunity for the United States to demonstrate global political leadership to provide a decent education to all children and young people"

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