Last month, we visited schools and communities in Ethiopia benefiting from support from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and Education Cannot Wait (ECW).
As Japan prepares to host the G7 Summit in Hiroshima later this year, the country is in the process of revising of its ODA Charter – so the visit was timely to help rethink Japan’s aid policy for education. Ethiopia Country Offices of the World Bank, UNICEF and Save the Children co-organized and joined the mission.
GPE's investments in Ethiopia
It is estimated that more than 3 million children are currently out of school in Ethiopia. The country has been a GPE partner since 2004 and has received the highest amount in GPE grants, with more than $558 million over the years.
GPE has been working closely with the Ethiopian government and development partners to strengthen the country’s education system and improve access to quality education for all children. Save the Children is implementing a school feeding program, while other grants are implemented by the Ministry of Education with support from the World Bank as grant agent.
Meeting children and adolescents impacted by the ongoing crises
We visited four elementary schools in the Somali and Oromia regions, which are located about 600 km east of the capital, Addis Ababa. These schools have received or are currently receiving support from the General Education Quality Improvement Program for Equity (GEQIP-E), the Ethiopian government’s flagship program to improve internal efficiency, equitable access and quality in general education.
Two elementary schools were in rural areas, about an hour's drive from the Somali regional capital of Jijiga. On the drive there, we could see that the vast land was completely dry, and many crops had withered due to the severe drought. Some schools have been destroyed due to the conflict that occurred on the regional border until around 2019.
The elementary schools were supported by GPE, and school projects are now being implemented by Save the Children and UNICEF with support from ECW. Both internally displaced and host communities’ children attend the schools.