Countries Affected by Fragility and Conflict
GPE helps countries strengthen and rebuild their education systems during and after a crisis so that children can continue with their education.
Conflict, natural disasters, fragility, and humanitarian emergencies deprive millions of children around the world of their right to education.
During conflict, schools are often destroyed or become unsafe. Students are forced out of school, making them more vulnerable and at risk of violence, forced labor, and permanent displacement, without a guarantee that they can go back to school when they arrive at a safer destination. More than one-third of countries hosting refugees do not recognize their right to education; more than 60% of these refugee children live within the boundaries of GPE partner countries.
Ensuring that children have access to education during conflict and crises protects their rights, instills a sense of normalcy, and fosters resilience, inclusion and tolerance, supporting the long-term processes of rebuilding and peace-building.
- 35% of out-of-school children of primary school age worldwide live in 32 countries affected by conflict (2014). This represents 21.5 million children.
- Children in countries affected by fragility and conflict are more than twice as likely to be out of school compared with those in countries not affected by conflict; adolescents are more than two-thirds more likely to be out of school.
- Conflict exacerbates gender disparities. Girls are almost two and a half more likely to be out of school if they live in countries affected by conflict, and young women are nearly 90% more likely to be out of secondary school than their counterparts in other countries.
- The average length of displacement from conflict is 17 years, leaving millions of children excluded from education.
GPE 2020, the partnership's strategic plan, strengthens GPE's support to countries affected by fragility and conflict over the next five years.
In these countries, GPE adapts its approach to allow more flexibility, a faster response to address urgent needs, and optimized results. GPE aims to have education services restored as quickly as possible while laying the foundation to meet longer-term educational goals.
GPE finances education interventions that accompany children throughout a country's progress from preparedness through to recovery to reduce the impact of future crises. It recognizes that securing a continuum of education services across the divide between humanitarian and development interventions is crucial to maintaining progress.
GPE also promotes a foundation for better coordination and dialogue among development and humanitarian actors so that resources are used in the best way possible in crisis settings.
Number of GPE partner countries affected by fragility and conflict – 2002-2016
Source: GPE Secretariat, GEMR Conflict-Affected States, World Bank "Harmonized List of Fragile Situations"
GPE supports these countries with three mechanisms:
- Providing accelerated funding, which allows disbursement within eight weeks of up to 20% of a GPE grant. The use of funds is based on the education cluster needs assessment and agreed by the local education group and the education cluster. Activities can include temporary shelters, school meals and school supplies, as well as classroom construction, teacher remuneration and school grants.
- Supporting transitional education planning: GPE provides financial and technical support to help countries establish a transitional education plan. This forms the basis for a coordinated approach by identifying priority actions in the medium term to maintain progress toward ensuring the right to education and meeting longer-term educational goals.
- Developing an operational framework for effective support in countries affected by fragility and conflict: Under this policy GPE is able to redirect resources to priority activities arising from the emergency. These mechanisms ensure that GPE funding to the education sector does not stop when the emergencies strike and that partners can work together in identifying the most pressing needs and the best use of the funds.
These mechanisms ensure that GPE funding to the education sector does not stop when the emergencies strike and that partners can work together in identifying the most pressing needs and the best use of the funds.
GPE also actively supports Education Cannot Wait (ECW), a global fund to provide education in emergencies. GPE is working closely with the ECW Secretariat to establish a strong foundation and operational framework for the new fund.
- The share of GPE program implementation grants allocated to countries affected by fragility and conflict more than doubled from 21% in 2008 to 50% in 2015.
- In GPE partner countries affected by fragility and conflict, the primary completion rate increased from 55% in 2000 to 68% in 2013.
- Over US$1.5 billion in GPE grants were disbursed in fragile and conflict-affected partner countries by August 2016.
- The Central African Republic, Chad, Somalia and Yemen have benefited from accelerated funding, totaling more than US$22 million.
- GPE has provided a foundation for coordination and dialogue among development and humanitarian actors in South Sudan and Somalia.