Somalia: Renewed momentum for education

Friends at Hargeisa, Somaliland. Credit: UNICEF/Hana Yoshimoto

Friends at Hargeisa, Somaliland

CREDIT: UNICEF/Hana Yoshimoto
In Somalia, after years of conflict, the Global Partnership’s processes and financial support are promoting a more coordinated, harmonized and focused effort to support education.

The Challenge: Conflict’s devastating impact on education

Since the outbreak of civil war in 1991, Somalia has suffered from years of conflict, the consequences of piracy, and the inability to deal with cyclical famine. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is one of the lowest in the world. About 1.1 million Somalis are internally displaced, often living in poor conditions. Another million are refugees in neighboring countries.

During the civil war, more than 75 percent of public schools were destroyed or closed. Because of the complex and uncertain nature of Somalia’s political and social environment, interventions in the education sector have been limited and difficult. The result is two generations of children who have grown up largely without access to basic education.

The Solution: Partners work together to plan and rebuild the nation

A newly elected president, a new government, and a renewed engagement with the international community are enabling Somalia to start building a consensus-based nation rooted in sustainable development and better education for its children.

The Global Partnership’s processes and financial support are promoting a more coordinated, harmonized, and focused effort to support education in this fragile context. Because of the GPE requirement that grant applications be based on education sector plans endorsed by all local partners, Somalia, Somaliland, and Puntland all have solid medium-term education sector plans in place for the first time. Two GPE grants totaling US$370,000 helped the country organize consultations in the three regions, thereby increasing the ministries’ credibility with education stakeholders.

The Results: More dialogue and better coordination in education

The country has shifted away from fragmented, emergency activities toward better planning and program implementation. The Ministries of Education in the three regions have confirmed that the planning process facilitated by the Global Partnership has increased their awareness of education needs and strengthened their capacities and engagement with development partners. Donor support is now better aligned with the agreed education sector plans; and the strong engagement of partners in the GPE process is expected to leverage additional resources.

Formerly operating remotely from neighboring Kenya, development partners have now established education sector committees on site in the three regions. In May 2013, Puntland received a GPE implementation grant of US$2.1 million and Somaliland a grant of US$4.2 million. In October 2013, the GPE Board approved accelerated funding for South Central Somalia from the GPE Fund to bridge the gap between emergency aid and medium-term development support.

Sub-Saharan Africa: Somalia


The Global Partnership for Education Secretariat is headquartered in Washington DC and has approximately 100 staff. The Secretariat provides administrative and operational support to all its partners including...

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