KHARTOUM, March 27, 2017 — Sudan continues to be eligible for funding from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
The news comes after some uncertainty as to whether Sudan — a recipient of GPE financing since 2013 — would continue to be eligible for GPE support due to the tight constraints on global aid budgets. GPE currently finances the US$76.5 million Sudan Basic Education Recovery Project, the largest source of external support to basic education in Sudan which is supervised by the World Bank. Sudan’s authorities must still apply for the new funding which is subject to approval by the GPE Board of Directors. All GPE funding is linked to education progress, such as increases in domestic education spending, systematic collection of education data, and successful joint education sector reviews.
" GPE funding has been critical for the development of the country's basic education sector by building schools and enabling essential reforms that would not have been possible otherwise. We are thankful that Sudan will be eligible for possible future funding. My thanks also extend to the World Bank in Sudan for its steadfast support", said Souad Abdel-Razig, Sudan’s Minister of General Education. "We look forward to a deeper collaboration with all of our international partners to ensure quality education for all of our children, including those who have come to Sudan due to conflicts in their home countries."
In 2014, over three million Sudanese children of primary school age were out of school with girls comprising more than 50%. Nomads and children in conflict-affected areas are more at risk of being excluded from formal education, while poverty, remoteness, and the scarcity of resources often limit children’s ability to stay in school. Despite efforts to increase government budgetary allocations to the education sector, much remains to be done to improve enrollment, retention, and performance rates and bridge the significant gender gap that persists across states and localities.
“The Global Partnership for Education stands ready to continue supporting the Sudanese government’s efforts to strengthen the country’s education sector,” said Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Partnership for Education. “Millions of Sudanese children remain out of school and it is crucial that we ensure that every child, irrespective of where he or she lives, receives a quality education. We also hope that other donors will join these efforts.”
Since its debut in 2013, the Basic Education Recovery Project has laid a solid foundation for better education policies in Sudan and strengthened the overall education system. It also mobilized and empowered communities through providing training and promoting dialogue around sensitive sociocultural barriers to education.
“Funding from the Global Partnership for Education has made a significant difference to basic education in Sudan”, said Xavier Furtado, the World Bank’s Country Representative to Sudan. “The first grant has helped build over 900 classrooms, purchase and distribute over 9.8 million new textbooks, support Sudan’s first National Learning Assessment, and scale-up an innovative performance-based school grant system. While we are happy to see that Sudan will remain eligible for GPE financing, the country must be ready for some fierce competition. The World Bank stands ready to support Sudan’s application to the Global Partnership for Education.”