In South Sudan has sent a million people over the border to Uganda and three-quarters of South Sudan’s children are out of school. In 2012 GPE approved a five-year grant to South Sudan of just over $36m. Of this, $19.9m has been disbursed for curriculum development, learning assessment, training in school governance and school construction.
Plans for the remaining $16.1m have been made, but it is ultimately the decision of the South Sudanese government as to when and how that happens. Around $4m could be reallocated by the government for refugee education if it wishes to do so.
GPE partners with more than 60 developing countries, helping to build stronger school systems. Historically refugee education has been neglected, which is why GPE is also a co-founder of Education Cannot Wait, a new fund for education in emergencies. There is a long way to go to get education to all the world’s most vulnerable children, but GPE is the only global fund that is solely focused on that mission, working with developing countries, donors and all other stakeholders to deliver on the longstanding promise of education for all.
South Sudan needs a major programme of coordinated investment in agriculture, roads and telecommunications, clean water and sanitation, healthcare, and above all education, skill training and jobs.
In spite of continued volatility at national level, hopeful springboards for rapid reconstruction and development can be found at state and local levels. To take just one example, a network of good girls’ schools is being developed within Maridi and Gbudue states (Ibba girls boarding school, Amref girls science college, Yabongo girls school), providing opportunities for girls to study and learn in spite of the surrounding uncertainties. Although they are a drop in the ocean of need, they are sending out ripples across the country, and provide working demonstrations of what peace might look like in practice.