COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$7 million

Years: 2020-2022

Grant agent: UNICEF

Key document: Application and program document

The US$7 million grant supports:

  • providing educational content through radio programming
  • distributing radios and learning materials to the most vulnerable children
  • providing psychosocial support to students, teachers and parents
  • organizing awareness campaigns on the prevention of COVID-19, unwanted pregnancy, gender-based violence, etc.
  • refurbishing or constructing WASH facilities in schools, including water fountains, hand washing stations, cleaning and hygiene kits
  • ensuring remedial classes and additional learning support students
  • distributing meals to out-of-school students.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Burundi received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education in planning its response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Education in Burundi

Following the socio-political events of 2015, the government of Burundi developed a medium-term transitional education plan for 2018-2020, instead of continuing with the implementation of the 2012-2020 Education and Training Development Sector Plan. This enables the government to focus its efforts on basic education, protect the gains until the country overcomes the current unrest and prepare a comprehensive sector plan at the end of the transitional period.

After a participatory process, the government and the development partners endorsed the transitional plan in May 2018.

The plan focuses on basic education in order to support the basic education reform launched at the start of the 2013/2014 academic year and meet the major challenges identified by the 2014 Education Country Status Report (CSR) and the analysis of risks and vulnerabilities conducted in 2017. Considerable challenges persist in terms of equity, efficiency and learning outcomes.

The education sector is a priority for the government of Burundi in view of the share of its budget earmarked for education. The share of the education sector in recurrent expenditure excluding public debt has always been high. It rose from 31.1% in 2012 to 34.1% in 2016 and is planned to increase to 36% by 2020.

The local education group is the lead platform for dialogue and cooperation between the government and its partners. The Ministry of Education co-chairs the regular LEG meetings alongside the lead partner’s representative, which demonstrates the national authorities’ commitment to coordinating the sector with the partners.

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Latest grant

Development objective: support all children to attain expected outcomes of the basic education curriculum in a most efficient manner
Allocation: US$46,900,000
Years: 2019-2026
Grant agent: AFD
Utilization: US$13,560,441

Burundi’s “Twige Neza” program is designed to help the national authorities uphold the education system’s achievements and contribute to reducing vulnerabilities. It aims to help the country, in close collaboration with its development partners, to continue to make progress to safeguard the right to education.

The program is also supported by AFD (Agence française de développement) for a total cost of US$51.9 million.

GPE grant of US$46.9 million is composed of US$25.6 million approved in March 2019 and an additional funding of US$21.3 million approved in April 2021.

The program has five components.

  1. Improve access capacity to improve learning conditions and students’ progression through basic education, and reduce inequalities to foster more equitable schooling for children by optimizing available resources and building more classrooms. Main activities include:
    • classroom building
    • definition and implementation of procedures to improve local resources management
    • development of a school infrastructure sustainability strategy.
  2. Improve the quality of learning and system efficiency by:
    • building capacities to teach French as a subject and use French as a language of instruction to facilitate the linguistic transition
    • improve science teaching conditions and practices in cycle 4 by providing schools with laboratory and IT equipment
    • build teacher and trainer skills in testing and remedial practices to reduce repetition.
  3. Support school resilience and reduction of vulnerabilities to provide local support to identified groups while informing Ministry of Education, Technical and Vocational Training (MEFTP) analyses and thinking so as to build intervention strategies that can be institutionalized in the future sector plan. Main activities include:
    • scaling up inclusive education
    • setting up local actions to support the retention of girls in school
    • developing interventions to protect and help enroll out-of-school children
    • supporting the educational and community reintegration of repatriates.
  1. Provide system management and steering support to improve education system steering capacities and support the preparation of the future sector plan by:
    • supporting efforts to develop trades education and vocational training
    • improving EMIS data collection and processing
    • assisting with all the preparatory activities for the development of the future education sector plan.
  2. Support project management and provide technical assistance by:
    • setting up an enhanced fiduciary management mechanism external to the government structures with the recruitment of an independent fiduciary operator to ensure optimal project management
    • deploying resident technical assistance to help steer the project
    • deploying a project management assistance team to oversee the school infrastructure program.

The project is implemented by the Ministry of Education, in accordance with each department’s strategic functions of steering, leading and implementing operations, quality control and supervision. They are assisted in these functions by a project management assistance system.

The project funds are disbursed through two mechanisms: (i) direct payment by AFD (the grant agent), and (ii) renewable advances paid into a project account.

The results-based portion of the grant is used for strategies to reduce repetition at different levels of basic education (efficiency dimension), to reduce geographical disparities in access to basic education and improve learning conditions (equity dimension), and to improve pupils’ performances in French (learning outcomes dimension).

All funds, which will be disbursed once the different program targets have been met, are earmarked to finance:

  • the school construction program
  • the material set-up of school networks
  • one year of school nutrition for 50,000 children
  • the unallocated envelope for well-performing interventions.

Burundi also benefited from an accelerated funding of US$9.38 million from GPE, with UNICEF as grant agent, to support its program titled: Continuity of learning in emergency situations support program (Programme d’appui à la continuité des apprentissages dans les situations d’urgence).

The two-year program aims to:

  • ensure access to an education adapted to the socio-emotional needs of children and young people aged 3 to 16 affected by humanitarian crisis.
  • strengthen the quality of learning in emergency situations.
  • offer psychosocial support to students and their teachers affected by humanitarian crises.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Utilization Grant agent  
Accelerated funding 2021-2023 9,380,000 7,236,842 UNICEF Progress report
COVID-19 2020-2022 7,000,000 4,350,770 UNICEF  
Program implementation 2019-2026 46,900,000 13,560,441 AFD  
2016-2019 20,100,000 20,100,000 UNICEF Progress report
2013-2016 30,200,434 30,200,434 BTC  
Sector plan development 2017-2018 416,927 416,927 UNICEF  
System capacity 2022-2024 677,927 0 UNICEF  
Program development 2019-2021 200,000 200,000 AFD  
2017-2018 201,171 201,171 AFD Completion report
  Total 115,076,459 76,266,585    
Data last updated: May 26, 2023

As part of its investment in civil society advocacy and social accountability efforts, GPE’s Education Out Loud fund is supporting the coalition Éducation Pour Tous Bafashebige (EPT BAFASHEBIGE) 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.

GPE had provided the coalition Éducation Pour Tous Bafashebige (EPT BAFASHEBIGE) 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 June 10, 2022