COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$7 million

Years: 2020-2022

Grant agent: World Bank

Key documents:

In Benin, the grant will support the following interventions:

  • Back-to-school, gender sensitization and disease control and prevention campaigns
  • Provision of hand washing facilities for schools, including hygiene kits, soap, masks and water and training of school infirmary staff
  • Assess student learning levels and provide remedial programs to students at risk of dropping out
  • Finance school canteens and learning kits for marginalized communities, children with disabilities and girls
  • Support the development of partnerships between Ministries of Education and national radio and TV stations to create a conducive environment for distance learning
  • Train teachers in digital skills to provide distance learning in the future

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Benin received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education with developing a national response plan to COVID-19. The grant also supports broadcasting lessons via radio and producing sensitization tools for children.

Education in Benin

Drawing on the country’s development objectives laid out in the “Vision Bénin Alafia 2025” and approved by the Government in June 2018, the new Education Sector Plan (ESP) for 2018-2030 highlights the government's vision that: "In 2030, Benin's education system ensures that all learners, without distinction, have access to the skills, entrepreneurial spirit and innovation that will make them full-blown/fulfilled, competent and competitive citizens able to ensure economic growth, sustainable development and national cohesion".

The country’s education priorities are based on the policy options and principles mentioned in the sector plan, with particular emphasis on the implementation of the new architecture of the education system:

  1. Implementing a 12-year universal basic education cycle in line with the universal right to education (SDG 4). This implies reforms and a better targeting of the educational offer for the benefit of boys and girls who are out of the school system.
  2. Develop a vocational training offer adapted to the needs of economic development in partnership with the private sector through diversifying training programs; increasing reception capacities and improving the performance of technical and vocational education and training; and professionalizing higher education.
  3. Improve the quality of teaching and learning by reforming the initial and continuing training of education sector actors, teachers, trainers and supervisors as well as administrative and guidance staff for all components of the education system.
  1. Develop more effective, efficient and inclusive governance through the adoption of an institutional and governance framework adapted to the new education architecture; strengthening decentralization/deconcentration; effective involvement of the private sector, civil society and development partners in a multi-stakeholder dialogue; securing and pacifying the learning environment for children and their preparation for leadership.

The education sector is managed by three ministries: the Ministry of Pre-Primary and Primary Education (MEMP), the Ministry of Secondary Education and Technical and Vocational Training (MESFTP) and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MESRS).

Strengthened by the previous GPE programs, Benin collects, analyzes, and regularly publishes school statistics, which is handled by the Directorate for Programming and Forward Planning in the MEMP.

The local education group (LEG) helps the government and all partners organize regular joint sector reviews since 2010. All subsectors are represented in the LEG and participate in decision making.

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Latest grant

A 3rd grade classroom at Saka primary school in Kandi, Alibori region, Benin

A 3rd grade classroom at Saka primary school in Kandi, Alibori region, Benin

CREDIT: GPE/Chantal Rigaud
Development objective: Enhance the quality of teaching and learning in basic education, focusing on the early years of primary school, and improve equity in primary education
Allocation: US$19,400,000
Years: 2020-2024
Grant agent: WB
Utilization: US$13,817,829

The $19.4 million grant is to support the enhancement of the quality of teaching and learning in basic education, focusing on the early years of primary school, and the improvement of equity in primary education, particularly in four departments: Alibori, Borgou, Collines and Zou.

The grant goes into a pooled fund called the Common Fund Budget (Fonds Commun Budgétaire - FCB), to which other partners may contribute. The program has 3 components:

These objectives are broken down into three components:

  • The first component targets the entire country and seeks to improve the quality of basic education, by supporting learning in the early grades of primary school and supporting sweeping reform of pre-service teacher training;
  • The second component aims to improve equity in basic education in targeted regions by promoting equitable access to education by providing support to students in years 1 and 2 in public primary schools in the poorest communes in the departments of Alibori and Borgou; and children with disabilities in the departments of Zou and Collines and specialized education and training centers;
  • The third component aims to improve education service delivery by supporting capacity building in the ministries of education (MEMP and MESTFP), including in the area of monitoring and evaluation, and project management.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Utilization Grant agent  
COVID-19 2020-2022 7,000,000 0 WB  
Program implementation 2020-2024 19,400,000 13,817,829 WB Progress report
2014-2018 42,030,538 42,030,538 WB Completion report
2008-2012 75,108,025 75,108,025 WB Completion report
Sector plan development 2016-2018 402,096 402,096 SDC  
2012-2013 56,200 38,034 WB  
System capacity 2022-2025 585,465 0 UNICEF  
Program development 2018-2019 198,507 198,507 WB  
  Total 144,780,831 131,595,029    
Data last updated: March 17, 2023

As part of its investment in civil society advocacy and social accountability efforts, GPE’s Education Out Loud fund is supporting:

  • The coalition béninoise des organisations pour l'éducation pour tous (CBO-EPT) for the 2019-2021 period. This builds on 11 years of Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF) support to national education coalitions for their engagement in education sector policy dialogue.
  • Girls Not Brides to mobilize an advocacy alliance across multiple partner countries, including Benin, for the 2021-2023/24 period.

GPE had provided the coalition béninoise des organisations pour l'éducation pour tous (CBO-EPT) with a grant from the CSEF to support its engagement in education sector policy dialogue and citizens’ voice in education quality, equity, and financing and sector reform.

Last updated January 20, 2022