COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$7 million

Years: 2020-2022

Grant agent: UNICEF

Key document:

The US$7 million COVID-19 grant supports:

  • awareness campaigns on COVID-19 prevention and mitigation measures
  • self-learning materials to students
  • customized radio programs for children of pre-primary, primary and lower secondary levels
  • WASH and safety/hygiene facilities, and menstrual hygiene management support for girls
  • school building disinfection
  • guidelines, policies and safety measures to reopen schools
  • back-to-school campaign to encourage students to return to school

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in South Sudan 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 South Sudan

South Sudan’s education system is characterized as a low investment, low capacity, but high demand system. The state building and peace building efforts of the national plans put high demand on the education system to expand fast, reduce inequity, and provide appropriate teaching. But public expenditure is one of the world’s lowest for education.

The basics of the sector administration and management are rudimentary, which started to develop, along with the rest of the civil service in the country, only after the 2005 Peace Agreement. But capacity building efforts of the government have been interrupted by conflict.

The General Education Sector Plan (GESP) 2017-2022, titled 'Planning for Safety, Resilience and Social Cohesion', is an effort to contain this stress on the system, and to give the sector a direction towards stability based on data, evidence and financing outlays.

The first two years of the GESP are framed as a transitional plan that is expected to rapidly increase enrollment along with building new infrastructure, supplying basic teaching and learning materials, regularizing teacher salary and training teachers to cope with the increased enrollment.

The following three years of the GESP are focused on institutionalizing teacher training, school supervision, and expansion of secondary and technical education.

The education system in the country consists of 8,000 primary schools (grades 1-8), 120 secondary schools (grades 9-12) and one university. There is only one functional teacher training college in the country to meet the demand for training teachers.

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Latest grant

Development objective: ensure an increased equitable access to quality education
Allocation: US$41,700,000
Years: 2019-2024
Grant agent: UNICEF
Utilization: US$20,856,558

The GPE II program financed by the US$41.7 million grant is designed to ensure that by the end of 2023, the number of boys and girls who are out of school in target areas decreases by 15%, while ensuring an increased equitable access to quality education through working closely with other programs.

The program has three components:

  1. Increase equitable access to education for boys and girls through:
    • Supporting schools and communities to bring out-of-school children back to school
    • Mapping out-of-school children and carrying out a school infrastructure audit
    • Constructing and rehabilitating 2,400 learning spaces
    • Mobilizing community and advocating for enrolling more girls.
  2. Improve the quality of education through increased provision of trained teachers, relevant curriculum, and active school management committees, additional textbooks, upgrading the quality of 12 County Education Centers, and developing intensive course and distance learning packages for language teachers.
  3. Strengthen policy, administrative systems, and donor coordination at all levels to improve overall access to education in target areas. This will consist of strengthening education data management, resource planning, expenditure tracking, and coordination among stakeholders.

After an initial allocation of $35.7 million, a $6 million additional grant was approved to contribute to the implementation of the General Education Strategic Plan (GESP), 2017-2022. The program is complementary to South Sudan’s US$7 million COVID-19 grant.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Utilization Grant agent  
Accelerated funding 2023-2024 10,000,000 0 Save the Children US  
2018-2019 6,000,000 6,000,000 UNICEF  
COVID-19 2020-2022 7,000,000 3,617,190 UNICEF  
Program implementation 2019-2024 41,700,000 20,856,558 UNICEF Progress report
2013-2018 35,981,617 35,981,617 UNICEF Progress report
Sector plan development 2015-2017 464,971 464,971 UNESCO  
System capacity 2022-2023 543,462 0 UNESCO  
Program development 2023 193,000 0 WB  
2020-2021 100,000 100,000 UNICEF  
2018 71,165 71,165 UNICEF  
  Total 102,054,215 67,091,501    
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 South Sudan National Education Coalition 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 South Sudan National Education Coalition 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 September 19, 2022