Australia and the Global Partnership for Education

Australia’s contributions to the GPE Fund

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) supports developing countries to ensure that every child receives a quality basic education, prioritising the poorest, most vulnerable and those living in fragile and conflict-affected countries.

Established in 2002, the Global Partnership for Education is comprised of 76 developing countries, more than 20 donor governments, and international organisations, the private sector and foundations, teachers, and civil society/NGOs.

The GPE Fund provides the finance for GPE’s activities, which are carried out in conjunction with developing country governments through co-financing arrangements and the provision of grants.

According to DFAT, Australia contributed $340.8 million to the fund between 2007 and 2014.

In June 2014, Australia pledged $140 million for GPE’s 2015-2018 replenishment. This was close to a halving of the $270 million commitment that Australia had made to the previous replenishment for the period 2011-2014. It made Australia the 5th largest bilateral donor to GPE in 2015-2018 – during 2011-2014 it was the second largest. The cuts in GPE contributions reflected the overall aid cuts in Australia. The total contributions to the 2015-18 replenishment from donors totalled US$2.1 billion—more than the previous replenishment’s US$1.5 billion, but less than GPE’s target of US$3.5 billion.

In February 2018, Australia again reduced its contribution to GPE’s replenishment, pledging $90 million for the period 2018-2020—a share of 3.2% of total pledges made at the replenishment round and dropping Australia to being the 10th largest bilateral donor. At the replenishment conference for this period, donors pledged US$2.3 billion, more than last replenishment but again falling short of the target of US$3.1 billion. Australia’s declining contributions have been noted by advocates.

In supporting GPE’s latest financing campaign to raise at least US$5 billion over 5 years, Australia increased its pledges to $180 million covering the period 2021-2026, with a strong focus on the Indo-Pacific region and girls’ education. Though the pledge appears larger than the previous two rounds, after adjusting for the length of time covered, it actually fell from $230 million for 2015-2020 to $180 million for 2021-2026. Additionally, Australia is ranked as the 7th largest bilateral donor in this round of financing, although the majority of other donors’ pledges cover a shorter period: 2021-2025.

The chart below shows Australia’s contributions to the GPE over time.