COVID-19: Aid to Education May Reduce by N775bn –UNESCO

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SWITZERLAND, JULY 11 – United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation has expressed fears that the recession caused by COVID-19 pandemic may cause a decline in aid to global education by up to $2bn (N775bn) in six years.

According to a policy paper by UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report, total aid to education reached its highest-ever levels in 2018 at $15.6bn, an increase of nine per cent from the previous year.

“However, it estimates that global aid is likely to decline by up to US$2 billion from 2018 to 2022 as a result of the recession caused by COVID-19, entailing a 12 per cent drop in international support for education.

“This means that without new measures, aid to education would only reach 2018 levels in 2024, which poses a serious threat to the recovery of education from the unprecedented disruption caused by the pandemic.

“Just as aid to education seemed to have recovered its lost momentum, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to take us back several years,” UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, stated. As the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the global economy, Azoulay insisted that aid to education would arguably be more important than ever before.

“Countries will need additional funding to respond to the pandemic and education must be prioritised both in terms of aid and domestic allocations to avoid a setback to our global education goal, SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) 4,” she said.

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