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PRESS RELEASE June 10, 2021

Education Above All Foundation and World Bank Partner to Enroll 35,000 Out-of-School Children in Djibouti

DOHA, June 10, 2021 — Education Above All (EAA) Foundation's 'Educate A Child' program and the World Bank signed on June 8, 2021, a partnership agreement to enroll up to 35,000 out-of-school children in Djibouti. This first partnership will implement an innovative results-based funding model to provide support to the Government of Djibouti based on the number of out-of-school children enrolled.

Access to education at all levels continues to be one of Djibouti’s major challenges, with at least one in five school-age children never having attended school. Children are missing out on the ability to gain vital skills and learning opportunities presented by access to quality, equitable and safe primary education.

The US$3.8 million commitment from EAA, with support from the Qatar Fund for Development, is part of the "Expanding Opportunities for Learning Project", which also includes a larger allocation of US$15 million from the World Bank and US$9.25 million from the Global Partnership for Education. The project supports Djibouti's efforts to expand access to quality education for vulnerable children, including girls, refugees, those with special needs, and learners from rural communities; and improve learning and teaching practices. Along with increasing equitable access and improving school retention, the project aims to transform the education system by empowering schools and establishing quality standards and a system for regularly measuring learning to improve performance.

"We are delighted to be launching this first country partnership between Education Above All and the World Bank, to support the efforts of the government of Djibouti," said Jaime Saavedra, Global Director for Education at the World Bank. "We have agreed to continue working together, supporting other countries to address the disadvantage faced by out-of-school children. It was urgent before the pandemic, but now the magnitude of the challenge is larger than ever. Together, we will ensure that all children have the opportunity to fulfill their right to a quality education and build their own future."

The partnership in Djibouti is the first to be rolled out as part of a broader framework agreement between EAA and the World Bank, who, in 2019, jointly pledged to enable access to quality primary education for two million out-of-school children from more than 40 countries by 2025, with an overall commitment of up to $250 million in funding.

"This new partnership helps ensure universal enrollment for all school-aged children in Djibouti with quality and inclusive education over the next five years," said Moustapha Mohamed Mahamoud, Djibouti’s Minister of Education and Vocational Training. "It plays an important role in improving Djibouti’s human capital human and unlocking the potential of youth as a driver of growth."

To achieve its objective, the project will strengthen institutional capacity to develop sub-regional plans around primary education enrollment and retention, implement gender-sensitive interventions to encourage girls’ enrollment and their transition to secondary education, provide teacher training to improve remedial instruction, and support the enrollment of refugee children through the provision of teaching and learning materials, in required languages. Underpinning this work, comprehensive communication campaigns will be implemented to strengthen inclusion and support enrolment of the targeted vulnerable groups in the country.

Fahad Al Sulaiti, CEO of the Education Above All Foundation, said: "Today marks an important milestone in the collaboration between EAA and the World Bank with the support from Qatar Fund for Development to ensure education for millions more out-of-school children around the world. Aiming to eradicate the many pre-existing barriers to education compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, this project will have a profound impact on the opportunities marginalized children in Djibouti have, to learn and develop, to secure a better future for themselves, and their families.”

Following the rollout of the education project in Djibouti, EAA’s partnership with the World Bank will continue to work in education advocacy and poverty reduction in developing countries across three continents. Possible target countries include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, and Zambia.

Education Above All (EAA) Foundation

The Education Above All (EAA) Foundation is a global education foundation established in 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. EAA envisions bringing hope and real opportunity to the lives of impoverished and marginalized children, youth and women, especially in the developing world and in dire circumstances such as conflict situations and natural disasters. We believe that education is the single most effective means of reducing poverty, generating economic growth and creating peaceful and just societies, as well as a fundamental right for all children and an essential condition to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For more information, visit

EAA is comprised of four programmes: Educate A Child (EAC), Al Fakhoora, Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), and Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC). In addition to providing access to education for children around the world, EAA advocates to safeguard inclusive and quality education for all.

Educate A Child (EAC)

Educate A Child (EAC), a global program of EAA, aims to trigger significant breakthroughs and a material difference in the lives of children who have no access to primary education. EAC has been helping millions of the hardest to reach out of school children (OOSC) around the world realize their right to a quality education.

Through partnership and innovation, millions of children continue to be supported to overcome the barriers blocking their path to quality education. Playing a catalytic role in the field of OOSC and for those most at risk of dropping out of primary education, EAC strives to achieve individual and social outcomes for these children, their communities and a more sustainable world for us all.

The World Bank

The WBG is the largest financier of education in the developing world. In fiscal year 2020, we provided about $5.2 billion for education programs, technical assistance, and other projects designed to improve learning and provide everyone with the opportunity to get the education they need to succeed. The World Bank’s current portfolio of education projects totals $20.6 billion, highlighting the importance of education for the achievement of its twin goals, ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. The World Bank works on education programs in more than 80 countries and are committed to helping countries reach Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 by 2030.

The World Bank in Djibouti

The World Bank’s portfolio in Djibouti consists of 14 projects totaling US$255 million in financing from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s arm for the poorest countries. The portfolio is focused on education, health, social safety nets, energy, rural community development, urban poverty reduction, the modernization of public administration, governance, and private sector development with an emphasis on women and youth.


For Education Above All:
Nadine Ottenbros
Portland Communications
+44 7894 814007
For the World Bank
Isabelle Poupaert
+1 202-458-7038