In support of the Government of DRC’s free primary education program, the Emergency Equity and System Strengthening in Education Project (EESSE) aims to lower the school fee burden on households, increase access to primary schooling in the provinces of North-Kivu, Sud-Kivu, Ituri, Lomami, Kasai, Kasai-Central, Kasai-Oriental, Kwilu, Kinshasa and Kongo-Central, and strengthen core governance systems in the education sector. A disbursement of $100 million was made on June 3, 2021 following the achievement of the project’s first performance-based condition that at least 1 million additional students are enrolled in public primary schools in the selected provinces for the 2020-2021 school year, from a baseline of 7.7 million enrolled students in school year 2017-2018.
Previously, on February 1, 2021, the Bank had put this disbursement on hold in order to execute its fiduciary responsibility in light of the findings of an investigation undertaken by the Inspector General of Finances (IGF) which revealed a number of shortcomings regarding the use of public funds in the education sector.
At this time, the World Bank has been assured that the government has taken corrective steps, including medium-term systemic changes in the governance of the education sector. The World Bank appreciates the government’s commitment to strengthening accountability mechanisms and reaffirms its strong support for governance reforms in the education sector.