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It is the responsibility of national governments to finance their public education programs and, globally, the vast majority of funds are provided from domestic sources. It is estimated that 97 percent of the additional global education financing needed by 2030 will be sourced from increased tax revenue, largely from economic growth and efforts to ensure that governments allocate an appropriate share of total spending to education.3 But the lowest-income countries and those facing humanitarian crises will continue to need external support if they are to not fall further behind.

GPE’s focus on strengthening and financing education sector plans, provides a base and

  • 64 million more children in primary school in 2014 compared with 2002
  • 73 percent completed primary school in 2014 compared with 63 percent in 2002
  • 71 percent primary completion rates for girls in 2014 compared with 56 percent in 2002


is a foundation for economic prosperity

  • Higher levels of schooling within a country can significantly cut the risk of conflict, but equity matters—unequal access to education can double the possibility of conflict.
  • Increasing secondary school enrollment from 30 percent to 81 percent is estimated to reduce the probability of civil war by almost two-thirds if education is distributed equally across the population.
  • Every year of schooling decreases the chance of youth engaging in violent conflict by 20 percent.
  • Youth without an education can be nine times more likely to be recruited by rebel groups.
  • A lack of opportunity for education for displaced and refugee children can perpetuate cycles of migration; this was one of the motivating factors for Syrian families seeking refuge in Europe in 2015.


In addition to the GPE Fund’s core grants to support education sector analysis, plan development and implementation, the financing and funding framework includes three new features:

Leverage Fund

A dedicated pool of funding to incentivize low- and lower middle-income countries to leverage additional financing from other sources such as multilateral development banks, bilateral donors and private sector investors. GPE will offer extra grant funds where governments show additionality and co-financing from external sources of at least US$3 for every US$1 of GPE grant funds. In this way, the leverage fund crowds in additional financing to support high quality education sector plans.

GPE is working closely with the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the African Development Bank, and other regional development banks are expected to join. The Leverage Fund also provides a mechanism for channeling finance from the Education Commission’s proposed International Finance Facility for Education to support government sector plans.


“Educating the next generation is the best investment we can make in our future prosperity. The Global Partnership for Education’s support to Malawi is vital. GPE’s focus on strengthening the education system helps to improve the effectiveness of my Government’s investments in education. My government welcomes contributions from our development partners to the GPE Fund.”

His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika,President of the Republic of Malawi

RUHAINATU 14 years old, Ghana

Abdulrahman Ruhainatu lives in West Mamprusi, one of the poorest districts in the north of Ghana. She is top of her class in science and wants to be a nurse.

“In the last two years, there were so many people dying in this village from cholera and other diseases. If you want to be a nurse you have to study science.”

Ruhainatu wants to go to university and says,

“when I finish there I will come back to this community and help”

Ghana has received US$95 million in GPE support over the last decade; this helped improve policy and planning, and strengthen school supervision and teacher training. The most recent grant targeted 75 of the most deprived districts helping to institutionalize in-service training and provide small grants to schools to upgrade their facilities and learning materials. Ruhainatu and a million other girls and boys in Ghana have a better opportunity to find productive employment.

GHANA Strengthening the system makes the difference for all school children

GPE supports strengthening the fundamental elements that ensure the strong and resilient functioning of a country’s education systems. Having focused on getting more children in school for the past two decades, Ghana has dramatically increased school enrollment and the quality of education through its patient and persistent investment strengthening of the education system.

Ghana received three GPE grants totaling US$95.4 million over the past decade. That support played a vital role in the creation and implementation of the country’s 2010–2020 education plan. Ghana has improved the planning, monitoring and delivery of basic education services in 75 deprived districts. It has used its GPE support to train over 58,000 teachers and to buy essential teaching and learning material for its most disadvantaged schools.

Ghana has also improved its school supervision and accountability systems, resulting in better student and teacher attendance, higher enrollment rates and higher transition rates from primary to lower-secondary school. The impact of GPE’s support to Ghana goes beyond funding, with GPE playing an essential role in the country’s long-term sector planning, education sector analysis, and policy development and coordination across all partners.

YEMEN Civil war heightens need to keep children learning

Since 2015, Yemen has been devastated by a civil war that has displaced 2.2 million people and led to the deaths of close to 4,000 civilians, including over 1,300 children. UNICEF estimates about 70 percent of Yemenis need humanitarian assistance and more than 460,00016 children face severe malnutrition.

Before the conflict began, Yemen had made strides in expanding access to basic education and improving gender equality. Since the conflict, however, gender disparities have widened, enrollment and retention rates have fallen, 3,600 schools closed and half of all school-age children (3.4 million) have been out of school.

In response, GPE supported preparatory efforts in Yemen to develop new science and math curricula, buy 35,000 school kits for distribution in areas where drop-out rates for girls are highest, train nearly 600 education specialists and social workers, create a recruitment strategy for female teachers to encourage girls to go to school, and provide basic school furniture and supplies for 37,380 children.