COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$11 million

Years: 2020-2021

Grant agent: Islamic Development Bank

Key documents:

The US$11 million COVID-19 grant supports:

  • Home-based learning through the development and broadcasting of TV and radio lessons
  • Sanitizing and providing hygiene supplies to 7,000 schools
  • Awareness campaigns to promote learning resources and to broadcast messages regarding the protection of students’ and teachers’ health, safety and wellbeing
  • training of teachers, mentors and school administrators to bridge learning gaps
  • Capacity building of the ministry of Education through a south-south exchange with Tunisian education administrators as well as technical assistance from Arab League's Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO).

The GPE program builds on the earlier interventions supported by ECW.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Yemen received a GPE grant of US$140,000 to support the Ministry of Education with preparing a national COVID-19 education response plan and 2 operational plans.

Education in Yemen

Yemen considers education vital to eliminating poverty and is focused on ensuring that all children have access to quality education. The country’s development plans consistently prioritize human development and the education of the labor force.

While access to basic education has improved, Yemen still faces significant challenges, including girls’ enrollment, retention and completion rates, teacher quality and instructional materials, and emergency or conflict-afflicted areas.

The Medium-Term Results Framework 2013-2015 covered the period 2013-2015 and outlined 10 programs under 5 objectives. The country is in the process of developing a transitional sector plan through support from GPE and other development partners.

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Latest grant

In Yemen, the ongoing conflict and the devastating consequences of forced displacement, and damaged and occupied school buildings have disrupted the education of 2.4 million children. Since the beginning of the conflict, child marriage and recruitment have increased, depriving millions of children of opportunities to learn.  
Credit: UNICEF
Increased population movements and the inability to find jobs have prevented parents to cover the basic needs of their children, including their education. Even when schools are open, and teachers available, parents are not able to send their children to school because they can’t afford buying basic learning materials.
Credit: Julien Harneis
In an effort to sensitize parents in marginalized and nomad communities of the importance of sending their children to school, UNICEF, with support from a GPE grant, launched a Back to School campaign last September – December in coordination with Communication for development (c4d) and Education program. The campaign targeted regions with low rates of school enrollment and retention. It also directly responded to the urgent needs of children affected by the conflict.
Credit: UNICEF
In several camps for internally displaced people (IDP), including the Al-Farsi in Aden, the Back to School campaign is raising awareness of the importance for children to have access to education through communication activities. These include puppet theaters, open drama and concerts, to name a few.  
Credit: UNICEF
Here, Communication for Development (C4D) community volunteers hold an open-theater in a community where internally displaced people have moved. Burykha district, Aden.
Credit: UNICEF
In Shabwa, C4D volunteers are engaging with community leaders through interpersonal sessions to discuss the importance of education.
Credit: UNICEF
Imams are also helping to spread the message, telling parents: “Attainment of knowledge is a must for every Muslim. Let your children go back to school.”
Credit: UNICEF
C4D community volunteers have staged a puppet theater in Abyan.
Credit: UNICEF
During these activities, messages target parents to ensure they understand the importance of sending their children to school and the steps they need to take to enroll their children. Children also hear the benefits of getting an education and are given tips to use on their way to school or at school to stay safe.
Credit: UNICEF
Thanks to GPE and UNICEF’s efforts, in areas with high concentrations of displaced persons, more than 1,400 teachers have received incentives and participated in training to support 63,000 displaced and host community children.
Credit: UNICEF
Layla,10 years old, is already a strong advocate for education: “I am currently a 4th grade student and I will continue going to school until I become a teacher.”
Credit: UNICEF
Development objective: Develop quality basic education, improve enrollment and equity and strengthen institutional capacities
Allocation: US$47,400,000
Years: 2021-2025
Grant agent: WB
Utilization: US$0

The current GPE grant of US$72.6 million focuses on the following:

  1. Developing quality basic education through supporting school-based development, curriculum development, pre-school education, and improving teacher, school management, and inspector performance.
  2. Improving enrollment and equity through improving school physical environment, encouraging equitable access, promoting access for out-of-school children, and supporting adult literacy.
  3. Strengthening institutional capacities through deploying and managing the Education Management and Information System (EMIS), training on quality management and school accreditation teams, and developing a new education strategy for 2016-2025.

Grant restructuring

Since January 2015, Yemen has been facing a high level of violence and insecurity due to armed conflict. In view of this, the GPE grant was restructured to support most urgent needs of the education sector.

The latest restructuring includes a 1-year extension (2018-19) and the adjustment of annual targets for new classrooms and new labs, resulting in the reallocation of US$12.2 million.

Additional funding has been provided to support training and salaries of an additional 699 female teachers. The number of program beneficiaries has been increased to reach at least 427,444 children.

A new US$2.5 million component has been added to support the most immediate needs. This funding, combined with US$9.7 million in emergency funding during the first restructuring, brings the total allocated for education in emergencies in Yemen to US$12.2 million. Finally, the restructuring will support the development of a transitional education plan.

The local education group in Yemen, led by UNESCO and Save the Children as coordinating agencies, is playing an important role during the crisis in providing inputs on how best to restructure and use the GPE grant, and in helping partners who suspended operations in the country to remain involved in the dialogue. As a result, more partners have stayed engaged in responding to Yemen’s education crisis and are better placed to continue their work.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Utilization Grant agent  
COVID-19 2021-2022 11,000,000 0 IsDB  
Accelerated funding 2021-2022 6,480,000 0 WB  
2013-2014 9,996,319 0 UNICEF Completion report
Program implementation and multiplier 2021-2025 47,400,000 0 WB  
Program implementation 2014-2021 72,600,000 55,500,276 UNICEF Progress report
2009-2013 19,989,071 19,989,071 WB Completion report
2006-2007 10,000,000 10,000,000 WB  
2004-2005 9,777,701 9,777,701 WB  
Program development 2021-2022 200,000 0 WB  
  Total 187,443,091 95,267,048    
Data last updated: December 15, 2021

As part of its investment in civil society advocacy and social accountability efforts, GPE’s Education Out Loud fund is supporting the Yemeni Coalition for Education for All 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 Yemeni Coalition for Education for All 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.

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Yemen, and GPE data shows the country progress on 16 indicators monitored in the GPE Results Framework.

Primary completion rate

Lower secondary completion rate

Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age

Out-of-school rate for adolescents of lower secondary school age

Pre-primary gross enrollment rate

Gender parity index for out-of-school rate

Public expenditure on education as share of GDP

Students/trained teacher ratio

Teachers trained

Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.

Last updated September 12, 2021