WASHINGTON, April 28, 2011 - The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$ 71 million to support the implementation of the Government of Mozambique’s Education Strategic Support Program (ESSP) for the period 2011-15. The ESSP will receive complementary funding from the Education For All – Fast Track Initiative Catalytic Fund (EFA-FTI CF) program, administered by the World Bank, now in its second phase (2011-2014), with a total amount of US$90 million, approved in November 2010.
“I’m please that in times of austerity and budget cuts, we are keeping our commitments and augmenting in some instances, thus helping the country fill financing gaps, keep its sectorial priorities afloat, and meet its critical development challenges,” said Mr. Olivier Godron, Acting Country Director for Mozambique.“In fact, in 2010, the sector experienced reduced external funding (36 percent reduction in commitments through bilateral projects and 8 percent through FASE). These cuts have put pressure on the sector, with implications on the medium to long run.”
This financing will specifically be utilized to further increase access to education; to improve the quality of education (through teacher training programs, production and distribution of free primary school books; support curriculum reform for primary and secondary education; scale up direct support to schools program; and provide subsidies for literacy workers). It will also fund HIV/AIDS prevention and mitigation in the sector; and strengthen management of the sector’s administrative systems through the consolidation of the reforms in the areas of financial management and procurement as well as planning, budgeting, and monitoring.
IDA and EFA-FTI CF funds, totaling US$161 million, will be administered through an education sector donor funding pool, named FASE from its Portuguese acronym, and managed by the Ministry of Education. FASE donors that have contributed to this pool of funds in addition to EFA-FTI CF during the period 2008-2010 include the following: Ireland, Finland, Germany, DFID, Portugal, Spain, UNICEF, CIDA-Canada, the Netherlands, and DANIDA. An additional two donors (Italy and Flanders Cooperation) joined the FASE pool of funds in 2011, while the Netherlands will stop disbursing in 2011 and DANIDA in 2012.
“Though these collective efforts, it’s gratifying to see that Mozambique is making steady progress toward the achievement of universal primary education by 2015 (MDG 2). Net enrollment in primary education more than doubled from 45 to 95 percent between 1998 and 2010, and the completion rate (grade 7) increased from 34 percent in 2004 to 50.8 percent in 2010. A major achievement is the increase in the net enrollment rate at 6-7 years of age from 19 percent in 1998 to 70 percent in 2010,”added Sophie Naudeau, the World Bank project task team leader. “Despite this progress, we need to continue our efforts to improve retention and reduce dropouts in order to increase completion rates, as well as to remove gender disparities, and increase the overall quality of primary education”.
This project is consistent with the priorities set forth in the Government of Mozambique’s own Education strategies; the Government’s Action Plan for Poverty Reduction, PARPA 2; as well as the World Bank Country Partnership Strategy for Mozambique.