Response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic

GPE is supporting lower-income countries to mitigate the impacts that school closures have on the most vulnerable children and to build the resilience of education systems.

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an education emergency of unprecedented scale. In lower-income countries, which were already facing a learning crisis before the pandemic, 126 million children are cut off from schools.

GPE has quickly mobilized more than US$500 million to support partner countries with planning and implementing their response to the pandemic. This funding is helping governments sustain learning for up to 355 million children in 66 countries.

GPE is working across the partnership to promote coordinated responses that are country-driven, aligned behind government priorities, and to share information and experiences.

Result stories

Our response

Between April and October 2020, GPE approved $467 million in COVID-19 accelerated grants to 66 countries and another $25 million for a global grant to UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank.

Grant allocations by category
(in US$ millions)

Distance learning methods
(in US$ millions)

The country grants help ensure that girls and children from the poorest families, who have been hit hardest by school closures, are not left behind.

  • Grants support partner countries' response in:
    • Equity: Hygiene and psychosocial support programs, with priority for the most vulnerable children, including children with disabilities.
    • Learning: Distance learning initiatives, provision of learning materials, support to teachers in distance and accelerated remedial learning programs.
    • System resilience and school reopening: Preparations for the reopening of schools by ensuring that students and teachers can return to safe education facilities.
  • 41% of the grants support low tech solutions for distance learning (radio and TV); 35% support printed materials, and 24% support e-learning.

More details on thematic allocations of COVID-19 grants

Funding for COVID-19 response

COVID-19 grants

  • 66 countries received COVID-19 accelerated grants totalling US$467 million (see table below)
  • 87 countries received a COVID-19 planning grant in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic for a total of US$8.8 million
  • a US$25 million global grant funds a joint initiative by UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank to ensure regional and global efficiencies and knowledge sharing in the education pandemic response.

Click on each country in the table below to learn more about COVID-19 grants and related documentation

More information on COVID-19 grants

View data on COVID-19 and education

Approved grants

Country Amount (US$ M) Grant agent
Afghanistan 11 UNICEF
Bangladesh 15 World Bank
Burkina Faso 7 AFD
Benin 7 World Bank
Bhutan 0.75 Save the Children
Burundi 7 UNICEF
Cabo Verde 0.75 UNICEF
Cambodia 7 UNICEF
Cameroon 11 UNESCO
Central African Republic 7 UNICEF
Chad 7 World Bank
Comoros 0.75 UNICEF
DR Congo 15 UNICEF
Republic of Congo 7 UNICEF
Cote d'Ivoire 11 UNICEF
Djibouti 3.5 World Bank
Ethiopia 15 World Bank
The Gambia 3.5 World Bank
Ghana 15 World Bank
Guinea 7 UNICEF
Guinea Bissau 3.5 UNICEF
Guyana 3.5 UNICEF
Haiti 7 UNICEF
Kenya 11 World Bank
Kiribati 0.75 UNICEF
Lesotho 3.47 UNICEF
Liberia 7 UNICEF
Madagascar 15 World Bank
Malawi 10 UNICEF
Maldives 0.75 UNICEF
Mali 7 World Bank
Marshall Islands 0.75 UNICEF
Mauritania 3.5 IsDB
FS Micronesia 0.75 UNICEF
Mozambique 15 UNICEF
Myanmar 11 UNICEF
Nepal 11 World Bank
Nicaragua 7 World Bank
Nigeria 15 UNICEF
OECS (Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines) 3 OECS
Pakistan 20 World Bank
Papua New Guinea 9.44 UNICEF
Rwanda 10 World Bank
Sao Tome and Principe 0.75 UNICEF
Samoa 0.75 UNICEF
Senegal 7 AFD
Sierra Leone 7 World Bank
Solomon Islands 0.75 UNICEF
Somalia (Federal Government) 5.4 Save the Children
Somalia (Puntland) 1.3 UNICEF
Somalia (Somaliland) 2.2 Save the Children
South Sudan 7 UNICEF
Sudan 11 World Bank
Tanzania 15.16 SIDA
Tanzania (Zanzibar) 1.5 UNICEF
Timor-Leste 3.5 UNICEF
Togo 7 World Bank
Tonga 0.75 Save the Children
Tuvalu 0.75 UNICEF
Uganda 15 World Bank
Vanuatu 0.75 Save the Children
Yemen 11 ISDB
Zambia 10 UNICEF
Zimbabwe 7 UNICEF
TOTAL 467.22  

Last updated: November 2, 2020


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