The fund will support 870 million children in 89 countries.

We’ve spoken before about the fact that in comparison to its wealth, the UAE gives the most international aid of any country.

And while 2018 is still pretty young, it looks like that isn’t going to change this year.

With a Dhs367 million pledge, the UAE has become the first Arab nation to support the Global Partnership for Education, which works to ensure children in the world’s poorest countries have access to quality schooling.

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The announcement came at the GPE’s conference in Senegal on Friday, which was hosted by French president Emmanuel Macron and and Rihanna. The Barbadian singer is an ambassador for the organisation, and spent the days leading up to the event encouraging world leaders to donate.

Reem Al Hashimy, the UAE’s Minister of State for International Co-Operation, was on hand to break the news.

“The GPE position of prioritising the poorest, most vulnerable and those residing in fragile and conflict-affected countries strikes a particular resonance with the fundamentals of UAE foreign assistance,” The National quotes the minister.

“This pledge comes in a year where the UAE celebrates the Year of Zayed, which reflects the fundamentals of wisdom, human development, sustainability and respect.”

Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who now heads up the GPE’s board, welcomed the donation.

“The generous contribution of US$100 million will ensure that millions of marginalised children have a chance to go to school and learn,” Gillard said according to The National.

“We’ve made tremendous progress today, but of course, our work is never done,” Rihanna said at the conference. “We have a long way to go, and this is a fight that we’re never going to stop fighting until every boy and every girl has access to education.”

15 million more children were in school in GPE partner countries in 2015 than in 2002, the fund’s website says.

Since 2004, US$4.7 billion (Dhs17.26b) has been raised.

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Images: Dubai Media Office