COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$7 million

Years: 2021-2022

Grant agent: World Bank

Key documents:

The US$7 million COVID-19 grant supports:

  • Continuity of learning in a protective and inclusive environment (remote learning platform; digital learning content; virtual library of resources available through radio, TV, mobile phone, internet; printed materials; recording studio at the ministry of Education; distribution of solar radios to vulnerable households; gender-sensitive prevention, protection and psychosocial support messaging; psychosocial support program).
  • Return to schools in a safe and inclusive environment (prevention and control protocols; handwashing/hygiene kits and thermometers for schools; capacity building of teachers and school management committees; communication campaign; remedial education/accelerated learning programs; revision of the school calendar and examination schedules).
  • Vulnerable groups such as girls, internally displaced/returnee children, and children with disabilities will receive solar radios, printed materials, psychosocial support, remedial learning classes, and distribution of school and hygiene kits.
  • Gender sensitization messages will target children, parents, religious and community leaders and the entire community to promote continuity of learning with a special focus on girls.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Mali 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 Mali

Mali has been facing a security crisis for several years now, which has severely compromised access to education for thousands of school-age children, particularly in the north.

Threats against schools and destruction of school infrastructure and equipment led to a shortage of teachers in affected areas and a breakdown in the pedagogical support system due to massive population displacements.

There has also been a severe financial crisis for families in affected zones, making it difficult to send children to school.

The government gave the instruction to unconditionally accommodate displaced students in the South, leading to an overcrowding, affecting the quality of instruction.

While the sector has made significant progress towards extending basic education opportunities for all, it’s still facing many challenges:

  • The primary completion rate and gender parity index are low, with a high gender gap especially in secondary.
  • The quality of education still needs to be enhanced.
  • Repetition and dropout rates are high.

The vision of the 2019-2028 Education sector plan (Programme Décennal de Développement de l’Éducation et de la Formation Professionnelle Deuxième Génération) is that, by 2028, the country will have a well-functioning, inclusive education system that will prepare citizens for productive, patriotic, and creative contributions to the socio-economic development of their country.

The sector plan is complemented by the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan, which features a brief section on humanitarian education aid, targeting out-of-school internally displaced populations.

The education component of the country’s emergency intervention strategy aims to:

  • Provide a quality education to children who are out-of-school.
  • Promote equitable access to education in a protective environment.
  • Strengthen education system resilience.

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Latest grant

School children in a classroom in Gao, Mali.

School children in a classroom in Gao, Mali.

CREDIT: UN Photo/Marco Dormino
Development objective: Improve conditions for better learning outcomes, promote girls' access to lower and upper secondary education in underserved regions, and enhance the governance of the education system.
Allocation: US$45,700,000
Years: 2021-2027
Grant agent: WB
Utilization: US$6,683,531

The program financed by the US$45.7 million GPE grant is co-financed by IDA with a US$30 million loan and US$50 million grant. Of the total budget of US$125.7 million, close to US$45 million are reserved for results-based financing. The program has the following components:

  • Component 1: Improve the quality of basic and secondary schools by enhancing teaching and learning conditions through curriculum reform, provision of adequate pre- and in-service teacher training, improving the availability of instructional materials and laboratories, school-level quality improvement initiatives, and establishing quality standards for secondary schools.
  • Component 2: Address the critical challenges of low enrollment, transition and retention of girls in basic education 2 and general secondary as well as the increasing number of out-of-school youth. The component will address both supply and demand-side factors, including school feeding programs
  • Component 3: Strengthen decentralized education management system and monitoring and evaluation, including support to school-based management and innovations to address school closure in areas of conflict as well as institutional.
  • Component 4: Contingency emergency response to provide an immediate response to an eligible crisis or emergency.
  • Component 5: project monitoring and management.

In late March 2020, the country was awarded an accelerated grant of US$9.14 million to complement the US$45.7 million grant.

The funding targets 200,000 students, who will benefit from accelerated learning programs, remedial courses, and pedagogical and learning materials to ensure school continuity in areas affected by school closure in the central region of Mopti and the northeastern regions of Menaka and Kidal.

This additional funding will be included under component 3 of the original program.

Its overall aim is to address community innovations for improved resilience and better education service delivery, and it has two components:

  1. School-based management through the training of 3,000 school management committee members and school directors on school health and sanitation.
  2. Solutions for school closures through activities like:
    • building 240 classrooms (pop-up schools and temporary classrooms) in areas affected by conflict and fragility,
    • rehabilitating 1,188 classrooms in primary and lower secondary schools located in areas affected by conflict and fragility,
    • acquiring digital equipment and disseminating digital content for remote learning to ensure school continuity
    • providing 68,300 school supply kits for primary and lower secondary students in security-challenged areas
    • providing food rations to existing school canteens in affected areas to serve 45,000 students per year
    • providing kitchen equipment to 150 school feeding sites in affected areas
    • providing equipment, supplies and operating costs to the technical committee in charge of managing schooling in affected areas.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Utilization Grant agent  
Accelerated funding 2021-2023 9,140,000 0 WB  
COVID-19 2021-2022 7,000,000 0 WB  
Program implementation 2021-2027 45,700,000 6,683,531 WB Progress report
2013-2017 41,012,073 41,012,073 WB Completion report
2007-2010 6,553,547 6,553,547 WB  
Sector plan development 2016-2019 442,604 442,604 UNICEF  
Program development 2018-2019 199,852 199,852 WB  
2012-2013 182,246 182,246 WB  
  Total 110,230,322 55,073,853    
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 Girls Not Bride to mobilize an advocacy alliance across multiple partner countries, including in Mali, for the 2021-2023 period.

GPE had provided the Coalition des Organisations de la Société Civile pour l'Éducation Pour Tous (COSCEPT) 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 May 27, 2021