November 7, 2011
The World Bank Group is the world’s largest external funder of education for developing countries.
- Bank support for education totaled $26 billion from Fiscal Years 2000-2011 (an average of US$2.2 billion in new commitments per year), of which over two-thirds has supported basic education – far above the average share provided by other development institutions.
- Bank support for education through the International Development Association (IDA), the Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, totaled $13.8 billion from FY 2000-11 ($1.15 billion on average), with about 62% of this for basic education.
- Following record-high lending in Fiscal Years 2009-2010 in response to the global economic crisis, IDA support for education in FY2011 dipped to $1.2 billion, equal to the average of the previous decade, of which $403 million went to basic education -- but FY2012 IDA financing for education is projected to rise sharply to $1.9 billion, including $1.2 billion for basic education.
Since 2000, IDA support for education has benefited more than 100 million children, and significantly increased girls’ access to education. Some examples:
- With IDA support, 20 million more school-age children in India are now attending school, and 98 percent now have a school within walking distance.
- Through IDA, more than 3 million teachers globally have been recruited and/or trained; over 2 million classrooms built or rehabilitated; around 300 million textbooks purchased and/or distributed.
- IDA support in Burkina Faso helped to boost girls’ enrollment from 36% to 55% in the remotest villages; in Yemen, Bank support helped 33,000 girls go to school; in Cambodia, Bank-financed scholarships targeting girls resulted in more than a 20% increase in enrollment.
The Bank stands behind its 2010 pledge of an additional $750 million in IDA financing for basic education over 5 years to help the poorest countries reach the education MDGs.
- Average IDA support for basic education was $742 million per year (FY2000-FY2010).
- If the projected sharp rise in basic education is realized for FY2012, the Bank will meet its pledge by 2015 by sustaining support for basic education around $1 billion per year over the next three years.
- Increasing country demand for basic education, especially in Africa, is essential to meeting the education MDGs and is the building block for higher levels of education, jobs, and competitiveness; this is a priority for our dialogue with countries on how to effectively utilize their IDA resources.
- Increasing support for basic education is a challenge for all donors, not just IDA.
The Bank is a strong supporter of the Global Partnership for Education.
- In 2002, the Bank co-founded the Education for All Fast Track Initiative (now GPE) and the Bank strongly supports the GPE replenishment goals.
- IDA is partnering with GPE in many countries: For example in Mozambique, IDA provided a $71 million credit to co-finance a $90 million grant from GPE to meet the country’s financing gap for basic education; Ethiopia, Malawi, and Nepal are also examples of joint IDA/GPE operations.
- Decisions on IDA financing are based on country demand, consistent with Paris/Accra aid effectiveness principles, but IDA-GPE co-financing in countries is a promising option to leverage additional resources for basic education in countries.
- GPE is an independent entity, but the Bank houses and provides some support to the GPE Secretariat, and is the supervising entity for GPE-financed operations in the majority of GPE countries, at the request of the government.
The Bank’s new Education Strategy, Learning for All, aims to make education aid more effective by:
- Focusing not just on getting all children into school, but making sure they learn.
- Helping countries reform their education systems - not just funding more inputs such as classrooms, teacher training, or textbooks but also smarter policies, financing, management, and accountability.
- Matching new education financing with results by using proven, innovative approaches to improve student and school performance.
- Building a leading global knowledge base on education reform to help countries benchmark their performance and invest in what works.