Global Partnership for Education (GPE) has announced new package of education support for Djibouti that includes integrating refugee schools into the country’s mainstream education system.
New GPE funds will also leverage significant additional donor financing for a results-based program that focuses on improving efficiency, equity and learning outcomes for the country’s most vulnerable children.
The Global Partnership for Education is providing US$10 million, half from the innovative GPE Multiplier. The funding includes US$3 million that will only be released when agreed performance benchmarks are met.
Co-financing from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) (US$15m) and the Qatar-based Educate a Child (US$3.8m) brings total financing to almost US$28.8 million.
The funds will support pre-school learning, help enroll and retain more children, especially girls, in primary and lower secondary schools and improve the quality of education by upgrading teaching practices and learning materials. The World Bank is GPE’s grant agent in Djibouti; UNICEF is the coordinating agency for the education sector.
The funding will also support the government in making public schools more inclusive for refugee children and taking on the operation of schools in refugee settlements formerly run by NGOs or the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR. The goal is to include these schools in the national education system in line with the pledge in the Education Action Plan of the Djibouti Declaration.
Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnership for Education, Alice Albright said, “At the heart of GPE’s approach to strengthening education systems in developing countries is the idea that when partners work together toward a common challenge we can accelerate progress. The GPE Multiplier is an excellent tool to help countries attract and confirm co-financing from partners like the World Bank and Educate a Child to help the Government of Djibouti ensure that more children have access to a quality education, including refugee children.”
The GPE Multiplier is an innovative finance instrument that helps countries catalyze more and better investment in education by providing US$1 for every US$3 countries raise in new funding from other sources. Since 2018, 15 countries have secured more than US$132 million in Multiplier allocations, mobilizing more than US$546 million in reported co-financing in support of quality education.
Djibouti’s Minster of National Education and Professional Training, Moustapha Mohamed Mahamoud said, “This support from GPE, the World Bank and Educate a Child will go a long way to help more children in Djibouti get the schooling that ultimately transforms their lives and the country as a whole. It tells us that we are not alone on this essential journey to educate our children and those fleeing conflict from neighboring countries.”
Prior to this new grant, Djibouti has received a total of more than US$16 million from GPE since 2006 to address the country’s significant education challenges. While there is progress, Djibouti continues to face wide disparities – driven largely by gender, geography, poverty and disability – in access to, completion of and performance at all school levels.
Girls are much less likely than boys to complete primary and lower secondary school. Also, among refugee children living in Djibouti – mostly fleeing crises in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Yemen – only about four in ten children of primary and lower-secondary school age are enrolled in schools.
US$7 million makes up the fixed portion of GPE’s grant allocation for Djibouti’s efforts to raise quality standards for pre-school education through investments in teachers and physical infrastructure. It will also go towards raising enrolment and retention rates at the primary and lower secondary education levels to benefit children from rural areas, girls, students with special needs and refugees. The grant also supplements the country’s own investments to improve the quality of school assessments and the modernization of the education management information system.
GPE will provide Djibouti with the remaining US$3 million of its total allocation once the country reaches several milestones, including: a reduction of the grade 5 repetition rate (the number of children who repeat that grade because of low learning performance) from 24 percent to 14 percent; a rise in the gender parity index (that is, a narrowing of disparities between girls and boys) for enrollment in lower secondary; and an improvement in the percentage of grade 2 students who achieve the minimum learning standard.