Global Partnership for Education mobilizes US$175 million to support quality education in Mali, Rwanda, Sudan and Timor-Leste
A teacher holds class outside in the midday heat after one of the classrooms, Sudan. Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch

Washington, April 16, 2020. The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) has allocated US$148.2 million in grants and secured US$26.4 million in partner co-financing to strengthen education systems in Mali, Rwanda, Sudan and Timor-Leste.

The grants, agreed before the coronavirus pandemic caused widespread disruptions to education, will support the countries’ long-term national education priorities. The four countries are also eligible to receive emergency funding to support their response to the coronavirus pandemic from GPE’s new COVID-19 response fund.

The Global Partnership for Education is proud to support Mali, Rwanda, Sudan and Timor-Leste in their efforts to ensure the most vulnerable and marginalized children can learn,” said Alice Albright, GPE Chief Executive Officer. “Even though schools in these countries are temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, these efforts to build more effective, efficient and resilient education systems are vital to lay strong foundations for the future.”

Mali will receive US$45.7 million over five years focusing on improving the quality of basic and secondary learning, with an emphasis on teacher training and curriculum reform, promoting girls’ participation and completion of secondary education in underserved regions, including by building 85 rural schools, and strengthening the management and resilience of the education system. The grant also includes pre-positioned contingency funds that can be activated to support innovative ways to meet the needs of  students affected by a crisis or emergency. The grant agent in Mali is the World Bank.

In Rwanda, the US$30.8 million grant will run for four years and be fully incorporated into the Government’s education budget. The funds will support professional development for teachers, with an emphasis on English teaching and inclusive education, and strengthen the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects, including by providing new printed and digital textbooks and teachers’ guides. The grant will also fund the school infrastructure improvements and the construction of 600 classrooms for lower secondary students. The grant agent in Rwanda is the UK Department for International Development.

In Sudan, a new five-year grant of US$62.6 million, with additional co-financing from the European Union of EUR 10 million (US$11.4 million), will increase enrollment and retention in school, particularly for girls, and improve reading proficiency in early grades. The funding builds on US$11.8 million in emergency funding approved last year to help the country tackle the impact of the economic crisis on its education system. The World Bank is the GPE grant agent in Sudan. The GPE grant includes US$3.6 million from the GPE Multiplier.

Timor-Leste will receive US$9.1 million over five years, alongside US$15 million in co-financing from the International Development Association, to improve learning and increase equity and efficiency in the education system. The program will develop new school quality standards fit for the 21st century, build and rehabilitate classrooms, train and mentor teachers and school leaders, improve the curriculum and learning assessments, and support data-driven budgeting and planning at the Ministry of Education. The grant agent in Timor-Leste is the World Bank. The GPE grant includes US$5 million from the GPE Multiplier.


About the Global Partnership for Education

The Global Partnership for Education supports close to 70 developing countries to ensure that every child receives a quality basic education, prioritizing the poorest, the most vulnerable and those living in countries affected by fragility or conflict. GPE mobilizes financing for education and supports developing countries to build effective education systems founded on evidence-based planning and policies.

Media contact

Breanna Ridsdel – +1 202 458 2842


A teacher holds class outside in the midday heat after one of the classrooms, Sudan. Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch

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