By Chioma Obinna
The Global Partnership for Education, GPE, has announced the provision of $250 million to help developing countries mitigate both the immediate and long-term disruptions to education by COVID-19 pandemic.
The GPE COVID-19 fund will be available for 67 developing countries.
In Africa, the 39 eligible countries include Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo (Republic of), Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
According to the GPE Board Chair, Julia Gillard, the funds will help sustain learning for up to 355 million children, with a focus on ensuring that girls and poor children, who will be the worst hits by school closures, can continue their education.
Gillard said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is creating an education emergency that could have devastating impacts on children in developing countries.
“Unless we act now to support education systems, millions of vulnerable children, especially the poorest girls, may not be able to resume learning when this crisis is over.”
At least, 630 million children are out of school in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean.