COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$11 million

Years: 2020-2021

Grant agent: World Bank

Key document: Application and program document

The US$11 million COVID-19 grant support:

  • adapting distance learning programs in math and Arabic for TV and radio and to be printed in local newspapers
  • guidance on completing assignments at the end of each lesson. Students will leave their homework in a secure and weatherproof drop box installed in each school
  • rewards for students who completed most of the assignments, to encourage continued education while at home
  • supporting a radio awareness campaign for COVID-19 prevention with messages on the importance of hygiene, handwashing and social distancing
  • protecting adolescent girls from sexual abuse, violence, and pregnancy by promoting safeguarding and health messages, using radio and other technologies
  • grants to schools to remunerate teachers for grading students’ assignments, buy cell phone data for teachers to communicate with students and send grade results, and to procure essential stationery
  • water storage tanks for schools lacking facilities to promote handwashing and hygiene practices.

These initiatives are based on the Ministry of Education’s COVID-19 response plan.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Sudan received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education with its COVID-19 response. Funds have been used to:

  • Record TV and radio lessons for review of Grades 8 and 11 subjects in preparation for the final exams
  • Develop an educational platform and links with social media accounts for wider coverage and easy access
  • Provide special support to students in rural areas and those who have no access to the internet, TV or smartphones by distributing paper-based reviews booklets for Grades 8 and 11 students in 18 states.

Education in Sudan

Education development in Sudan is anchored in the constitution, with clear provisions to facilitate investment in human capital at all levels of education and training.

The federal government, through its Federal Ministry of Education, is responsible for oversight in the sector and for the development and maintenance of standards including curriculum development and mobilization of resources from internal and external sources.

At the state level, educational boards, under the state ministries of education, organize and coordinate educational activities.

The country is emerging out of a deep political crisis, which has seriously affected the ability of the people in all states to keep their children in school.

Sudan’s Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) 2018-2023 was endorsed in January 2019. Among other things, the plan is explicit about the humanitarian context in Sudan drawing from the Humanitarian Needs Overview of 2017.

The plan took the strategy of integration of the refugees and internally displaced people with the host communities in terms of provision of education.

Even though more children are accessing school today compared to 2009, the system is slowed down by high dropout rates rendering the achievement of universal basic education a big challenge for the country.

Significant numbers of children are still excluded from a conducive learning environment. For instance, only two thirds of learners in government basic education schools are seated and about 24,000 teachers in government basic education schools are volunteers.

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Latest grant

Development objective: increase enrollment and retention and improve reading proficiency of boys and girls in early primary grades in target disadvantaged schools.
Allocation: US$62,620,000
Years: 2020-2025
Grant agent: WB
Utilization: US$9,359,229

The 5-year program, titled Sudan Basic Education Support Program, supports the country’s implementation of the ESSP 2018-23 priorities, through expanding access and improving the quality of basic education.

The US$62.62 million grant contains a GPE Multiplier allocation of $3.62 million.

The program includes interventions at system and school levels, targeting disadvantaged schools through three components:

  1. School improvement program providing support to schools to improve the learning environment and practices through:
    • the provision of school grants for school improvement planning
    • the provision of textbooks
    • the provision of reading support program.
  2. Strengthening the education system capacity. This will build capacity in the Federal and state ministries of Education to produce and use data for strategic and operational planning. This component will support:
    • the implementation of a national learning assessment every three years
    • the implementation of an annual school census
    • the design, development and piloting of education system reforms.
  3. Program coordination, monitoring and evaluation to support the Federal Ministry of Education.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Utilization Grant agent  
COVID-19 2022 5,946,706 0 UNICEF  
2020-2021 11,000,000 0 WB  
Accelerated funding 2020-2021 11,800,000 0 WB  
Program implementation and Multiplier 2020-2025 62,620,000 9,359,229 WB Progress report
Program implementation 2013-2019 76,472,764 76,472,764 WB Completion report
Sector plan development 2016-2018 499,900 498,359 WB  
Program development 2018-2020 200,000 299,605 WB  
2019-2020 100,000 99,868 WB  
  Total 168,639,370 86,729,825    
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 Sudanese Coalition for Education for All (SCEFA) 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 Sudanese Coalition for Education for All (SCEFA) 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 10, 2021