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April 17, 2013
Tony Baker, Education for All Campaign Manager

In anticipation of this week’s global education summit (see previous post), RESULTS Educational Fund has taken a look at the latest basic education figures from the World Bank to find what is shaping up to be quite a success story. In short, fiscal year 2013 (July 2012 to June 2013) is shaping up to be a historic high for World Bank support to basic education! Basic education commitments from the International Development Association (IDA), the arm of the Bank that services the world’s poorest countries, total $1.55 billion, $1.2 billion of which was already active as of this month.

Upon learning about the World Bank’s 2010 pledge to basic education and decreasing trends of IDA basic education support in Africa and member countries of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) in a RESULTS report last year, many of you put pen to paper and hit your local newspapers with the call for the World Bank to make things right. Those efforts have paid off!

This year’s $1.55 billion is tantalizingly close to the $1.6 billion mark RESULTS volunteers pushed for, a figure that if achieved in 2013, 2014, and 2015 will meet the World Bank’s 2010 pledge to basic education.

But as RESULTS advocates know, issues of IDA support to basic education often lie not in the overall finance volumes but where the money goes. There’s good news on that front as well.

This year represents a significant increase in IDA investment in basic education in Africa, with IDA support to basic education in Africa set to increase seven-fold in 2013 from 2012 ($701 million from $98 million), nearly tripling the 2000–2012 average. Half of these commitments are already out of the pipeline.

2013 also represents a substantial increase in IDA support to GPE member countries. The current 57 GPE member countries are taking the lion’s share of IDA’s 2013 commitments to basic education, nearly doubling their 2012 share and more than doubling their annual average since 2000. In total, they claim $1.16 billion of the $1.55 billion of IDA basic education commitments for the year.

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