Global Partnership for Education approves US$90.6 million to support children’s education in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe
A school boy follows the lesson at Hidassie School. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Credit: GPE/Midastouch

Siem Reap, December 2, 2016 – Today, the Board of Directors of the Global Partnership for Education approved US$90.6 million to improve the education of millions of children and youth in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.

The grants will support the implementation of national education sector plans to strengthen the countries’ education sectors over the coming years. GPE supports rigorous, inclusive and transparent national planning processes, bringing together education ministries and donors with civil society, international organizations, teachers’ organizations and other education partners.

 “GPE is committed to support national efforts to educate and invest in the life and future of children and teenagers,” said Julia Gillard, Board Chair of the Global Partnership for Education. “For GPE to be able to respond to the immense need for support from our developing country partners, it is crucial that our donor partners respond to the global call to scale up GPE and ensure sufficient funding.”

The Board discussed an ambitious new financing and funding framework to mobilize additional resources necessary to implement GPE 2020, the partnership’s strategic plan for 2016 to 2020. The International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity recommends in its report to significantly scale up GPE with a funding volume of US$2 billion per year by 2020.

GPE’s partnership model focuses on strengthening countries’ education systems to improve equity and access to quality education,” said Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Partnership for Education. “These grants will help millions of girls and boys who live in difficult environments to go to school, stay in school and learn with qualified teachers.”

The grants build on prior achievements and will continue to help strengthening the countries’ education systems:

The grant for Ethiopia, amounting to US$70 million, is the fourth consecutive grant provided to the country and will help improve learning conditions and education quality in primary and secondary schools and strengthen institutions at all levels of education. Specifically, the grant will support the implementation of a new curriculum, provision of textbooks and learning materials, professional development for teachers and school leaders and implementation of school improvement plans. It will also help strengthen school management system and capacity building, enhance planning, monitoring and evaluation and improve early childhood programs.

The funding will support the second phase of Ethiopia’s General Education Quality Improvement Program (GEQIP). Ethiopia is eligible for an additional US$30 million which is contingent upon the country preparing a results-based financing proposal and meeting results indicators in the coming three years.

“Education is the basis for development of every country,” said Dr Shiferaw Teklemariam, Ethiopia’s Minister of Education.  “Ethiopia achieved the MDG education targets in 2015 and will do the same with SDG 2030 as part of our national Growth and Transformation Plan, which will lead the nation into middle-income country status by 2025. We very much appreciate and commend the Global Partnership for Education for being a strong supporter of Ethiopia’s ambitious education sector development plan.”

In Zimbabwe, the GPE grant of US$20.6 million, the second to the country, will enhance access to quality education and improve learning for children and youth, especially for more than one million orphans and vulnerable children who are disadvantaged.

Specifically, the grant will support children with special needs, non-formal access to learning, teacher professional development, learning materials for the most disadvantaged schools and the introduction of continuous assessment systems from early childhood programs to upper secondary school. Grant funding will also be used to strengthen management and research capacities for better planning, data use and evidenced based decision making.

Zimbabwe is eligible for an additional US$8.8 million in results-based financing, for which it plans to apply and prepare specific results indicators to improve equity, learning and efficiency in education.

The Board of Directors also agreed important adjustments to GPE’s governance arrangements to ensure a nimble, flexible and strategic Board and committee structure as called for in GPE 2020 and critical investments in the Secretariat to strengthen GPE’s overall capacity and impact.

With regard to Education Cannot Wait, which was established in May to transform the delivery of education in emergencies, the Board reiterated GPE’s full commitment to its success. The Secretariat is working closely with UNICEF and the Office of the Special Envoy for Global Education to implement Education Cannot Wait and ensure it becomes an effective mechanism to support education during humanitarian emergencies and protracted crisis.


Also read the statement of the Board Chair

About the Global Partnership for Education

The Global Partnership for Education works with more than 60 developing countries to ensure that every child receives a quality basic education, prioritizing the poorest, the most vulnerable and those living in fragile and conflict-affected countries.  GPE mobilizes financing to improve learning and equity through building stronger education systems.  As the only global organization focused exclusively on improving education, GPE brings together developing country and donor country governments, multilateral development and humanitarian agencies, and organizations from the private sector, philanthropy, civil society and the teaching profession.


Contact information:

For GPE: Alexandra Humme at


A school boy follows the lesson at Hidassie School. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Credit: GPE/Midastouch
Sub-Saharan Africa: Ethiopia, Zimbabwe

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