2023 Annual Report: GPE’s commitment to investing in education for prosperity and peace

GPE’s 2023 Annual Report highlights important achievements in a context of increased conflicts, climate shocks and the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on learning in lower-income countries.

April 09, 2024 by Laura Frigenti, GPE Secretariat
4 minutes read
Rom Raksmey, left, and Ee Lykay, both 6 years old, read from a maths textbook during a class in Chambak Haer Primary School, Puok District in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Credit: GPE/Roun Ry
Rom Raksmey, left, and Ee Lykay, both 6 years old, read from a maths textbook during a class in Chambak Haer Primary School, Puok District in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Credit: GPE/Roun Ry

Education is the foundation for building peaceful, prosperous, healthy and equitable societies. In 2023, GPE further leveraged its partnership and funding to advance education in nearly 90 partner countries, helping 227 million children get the learning and skills they need to thrive in the 21st century.

The 2023 Annual Report highlights our achievements in transforming education through partnerships:

  • 4 new countries became GPE partners: Belize, Egypt, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
  • 84 partner countries accessed $2.5 billion in active grants for education system reforms that address their priorities, training 481,000 teachers, building 6,664 new classrooms and distributing 48 million textbooks.
  • GPE nearly doubled the value of grants approved to $795 million, mobilizing an additional $1.2 billion in co-financing from partners.
  • 2023 marked the first time GPE funds were instrumental in a debt swap, through Debt2Ed, allowing Côte d’Ivoire to unlock $117 million for education following a $77 million debt swap agreement with the French government.
  • 33 partnership compacts were finalized, paving the way for countries to mobilize partnerships and funding around priority reforms with the greatest potential to improve education outcomes.
  • We further strengthened civil society participation and advocacy in education reform through Education Out Loud; we continued our work to transform research and learning into informed, effective action through KIX; and our youth leaders launched their 10-point plan for the future, calling on world leaders to prioritize education and youth participation.
  • GPE received new contributions from Denmark, Japan, Norway and the USA.

Advancing foundational learning and gender equality in education

Without the essential building blocks of reading, writing, socioemotional skills and other 21st-century skills, children are not able to realize their full potential.

Most GPE partner countries are putting foundational learning as the cornerstone of their transformation efforts. By the end of 2023, 29 of 33 partnership compacts included a priority reform focusing on the improvement of teaching and learning.

GPE’s commitment to gender equality was prominent throughout every aspect of our work last year, as evidenced by the fact that every partnership compact endorsed by partners in 2023 considered gender aspects.

We also provided an additional $140 million to support girls’ learning through the Girls’ Education Accelerator. El Salvador, the first country to access the Girls’ Education Accelerator, is tackling gender norms and promoting gender-equitable learning assessments from early childhood to secondary school, covering more than 26,000 girls.

Young girl playing in class in El Salvador. Credit: GPE/Julio Roberto
Young girl playing in class in El Salvador.
GPE/Julio Roberto

Education can build resilient societies

Adding to the lasting consequences of the pandemic, in 2023 millions of children in GPE partner countries had their education interrupted by the impacts of conflicts, climate-related disasters and other emergencies.

In 2023, GPE provided nearly $70 million to respond to pressing emergencies through our accelerated funding mechanism, including in Syria after January’s devastating earthquake and to respond to the needs of conflict-affected children in Sudan. In Afghanistan, GPE funds are supporting community-based schools that enable children, including girls, to keep learning.

With growing numbers of children displaced by emergencies, GPE worked with governments to include refugee children into national education systems in 17 countries. In December 2023 at the Global Refugee Forum, GPE joined 140 governments and organizations in a multistakeholder pledge to uphold the right to education for refugee children.

GPE also built on its efforts to mitigate climate impacts on education by launching a $15 million initiative for education ministries to integrate climate into national education plans, policies and curricula.

At COP28, GPE mobilized $70 million along with the Green Climate Fund and Save the Children for a program that will support up to 23 countries to build more climate-resilient education systems and prepare teachers, students and schools.

Increasing our work in partnership for greater impact

This past year, we reinforced the power of partnership to overcome barriers to quality education for all, with new collaborations with the Harry Hole Foundation on girls’ education and the Roger Federer Foundation on early learning.

We also continued to work with partners to scale up financing for education through innovative instruments. By the end of last year, the GPE Multiplier had leveraged additional financing totaling $2.5 billion, surpassing in just 3 years the co-financing target set for 2025.

In Ukraine, we worked with Google, the Microsoft Corporation, UNICEF and UNESCO to enable students affected by the conflict to continue learning remotely and access psychosocial support.

Through the Arab Coordination Group SmartEd initiative, we have allocated $280 million to Cameroon, the Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan for effective and sustainable programs that will get millions more boys and girls into school and learning.

As we look ahead, I am inspired by the work of all GPE partners, globally and in partner countries, to uphold education as the cornerstone of peaceful, prosperous and secure societies.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to each one of our partners and stakeholders whose dedication, generosity and trust fuel our ambition to make quality education a reality for every child. Let us reaffirm our commitment and resolve to transform education together.

Read the 2023 Annual Report

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