On the 4th of December, the Danish Government formally announced a revision of the state budget for 2016. The budget sees the second cut of 100 million DKK (approx. 13.4 million EUR) in the Danish contributions to the Global Partnership for Education in just a few months, following the initial cut of 200 million DKK (approx. 26.9 million EUR) announced in late-September. With this announcement, Denmark has cut 75% of its support in less than a year.
This money will not go towards ensuring children’s basic human right to primary education. More than 100,000 children will be deprived of the opportunity to be empowered through education, and with this help to develop the societies that they are members of. Moreover, as a global community we will miss an enormous amount of potential, which could help solve some of the challenges we face collectively.
The cuts stand in stark contrast to the commitments made by the Danish Prime Minister on the 27th of September at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, when he himself chaired the adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that the 193 Member States have committed themselves to fulfil by 2030. During the adoption speech the PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen stated that “I can ensure you that Denmark will remain committed in our work to fulfil these commitments”. However, these cuts speak to another disappointing story.
The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) has manifested itself as the most efficient coordination mechanism of financing for the Education for All-movement (EFA) in its short history of 13 years. With the increased ambitions on education of the Sustainable Development Goals the GPE were set to take on more responsibility, but its chances for doing so now take a large hit.
The European Students’ Union stands together with the Danish Education Coalition (Uddannelsesalliancen) and the international education community in condemning the cuts. ESU calls for the Danish Government to increase its funding for the GPE in accordance with the commitments it made in New York.