Dubai – World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim launched a global education platform that gathers annually during the World Government Summit, with the aim of supporting education worldwide, and support children education among many other objectives.
Kim called for collective efforts to support middle income countries hosting refugees so that they ensure continued education for millions of displaced children across the world.
Speaking at the World Government Summit on Monday in Dubai, Kim said that World Bank along with the Global Concessional Financing Facility has raised about $400 million. The donations were done to allow young people to learn and grow even as their lives are disrupted due to conflicts.
The President stressed the importance of continuing to support Jordan and Lebanon as they provide the essential public good for this region and the world by caring for Syrian refugees.
He added that Global Concessional Financing Facility will be expanded to a global scale to ensure there is a coordinated international response to refugee crises in middle income countries.
In addition, World Bank recently launched its Guarantee Facility, another innovative financing mechanism for the region. It uses guarantees from donor countries and has so far raised an additional 450 million dollars of funding for Iraq and 150 million dollars for Egypt.
“The turmoil and instability is not limited to this region. The world faces multiple crises and needs urgent action including Nigeria, Southern Sudan, Yemen and Afghanistan. We have to tackle immediate humanitarian needs,” he added.
Kim noted that education is the key to a country’s economic prosperity, a fact which requires that governments adapt to the needs of increasingly tech-savvy young people.
“Education is the fuel that runs the engine. The world is changing rapidly and for education to continue to fuel prosperity, systems must adapt,” he added
He also noted that helping young people must begin at a very early age. “We must invest heavily in the early years. Early childhood experiences have a profound and lasting impact. Today, millions of young children are not receiving what they need to reach their full potential.”
He also highlighted that the fact that 25 per cent of all children in the world are stunted is a global crisis, is a recipe for poverty, inequality and eventually instability.
Kim also noted that education systems must do more to prepare young people for the realities of life in a multicultural world, and for their eventual roles in the work force.
He said that what is being taught and what children learn should reflect diversity of cultures and provide relevant skills. Education systems must provide relevant skills.
He said, “We must dramatically increase our aspirations for both the quantity and quality of skills. If we fail, we will leave behind a large population who, at no fault of their own, will struggle to find a decent job. Providing our youth with the right skill set… will enable people to create their own jobs.”
Kim noted that governments in the Arab region spend on average 5 percent of their GDP on Education, which is higher than any other region in the world.