USAID Funds Education in Northern Mali
20 October, 2021, Bamako, Mali – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided initial funding of $5 million (FCFA 2.75 billion) for the regions of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu to support education in northern Mali. This aid from the American people is a contribution to the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies, Education Cannot Wait (ECW).
As of August 2021, 1,664 schools were closed in Mali due to conflict and threats of violence affecting 500,000 children and youth. The new funding will support education in northern Mali, where cycles of violence have forced people from their homes, weakened education systems, and kept many boys and girls out of school.
According to US Ambassador to Mali Dennis B. Hankins, “This funding from the American people is part of our larger commitment to supporting Mali’s development and helping to ensure that Malians all across the country, including in the North, benefit from quality education and the promise of a more peaceful and prosperous future. I credit the role of the female members of the Monitoring Committee of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation (Comité de suivi de l’Accord, CSA) as the driving force behind our efforts to increase education programs in the North as part of the return of government services in all of Mali.”
The USAID funds will help children return to learning, build and reopen schools that have closed, provide psycho-social services for girls and boys that have endured the stress of displacement and conflict, and support local organizations and communities in building a stronger education system. This investment aligns with the Government of Mali’s educational and humanitarian response plans and will be implemented by Actions Concertées pour le Soutien à l’Éducation et au Développement Durable (ACFED) which is a consortium of local non-governmental organizations along with Humanity & Inclusion and UNICEF.
“Education is an essential building block for peace and stability in the Sahel. With access to safe, quality learning environments, we can help to break the cycles of poverty, hunger, and conflict. This contribution from USAID will support quality learning opportunities for some of the most vulnerable girls and boys in Mali, helping them to achieve their full potential and become positive changemakers for their communities,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of ECW.
This new funding from the United States government will accelerate the impact of ECW’s three-year program in Mali which was launched in January 2021 as part of a broader response to the regional crisis in the central Sahel. ECW’s Multi-Year Resilience Program provides targeted support for girls, children with disabilities and other marginalized groups, engages with local communities to get children back in school, works to build the resilience of local institutions, and supports efforts to recruit, train and retain quality teachers.