Didier Drogba backs $5bn campaign to fund children’s education

Ex-Chelsea and Ivory Coast footballer warns the stakes have never been higher

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Ex-Chelsea footballer Didier Drogba offered his support to a ‘Raise Your Hand’ campaign that seeks to raise at least $5 billion to pay for children’s education in low income countries.

The retired player, who also heads the Didier Drogba Foundation which focuses on improving health and education in Africa, said the stakes had never been higher.

His backing of the Global Partnership for Education drive comes ahead of a July summit in London, co-hosted by GPE, the UK and Kenya, that will conclude the financing campaign.

“The Raise Your Hand campaign is an opportunity to transform education and unlock a brighter future for more than a billion girls and boys,” the former Ivory Coast international said.

"The stakes have never been higher. More than a quarter of a billion children were out of school before the Covid-19 pandemic, and millions more could lose the chance to learn if world leaders don't step up to invest in education. Raise your hand, fund education."

Last year, as many as 1.6 billion children received no school education after the Covid-19 pandemic forced classrooms around the world to close.

“As the education sector faces an unprecedented crisis due to Covid-19, we urgently need to mobilise global support to help countries build strong, resilient and inclusive education systems,” Alice Albright, chief executive of GPE said.

“Didier Drogba's voice helps carry our message to decision-makers all over the world. If we are to create an equitable and sustainable future, we must put education first.”

This month, the Islamic Development Bank and Dubai Cares together pledged more than $200 million to GPE's funding drive.