Signing of Grant Agreement with UNICEF for Afghanistan: Contributing to improved access to basic education

[Goal 4] Quality Education
[Goal 5] Gender Equality


On July 7, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to provide grant aid of up to 1,328 million yen for the Project for the Improvement of Access to Basic Education in Afghanistan.

The people of Afghanistan are currently facing unprecedented economic and humanitarian crises such as poverty and shortages of food and medicine. Thus, support from the international community is essential.

In the education sector, especially, there are many challenges. Over 4.2 million children at the primary and secondary education levels are not enrolled in school, with an enrollment rate of just 65% in urban areas and 48% in rural areas. Girls are facing a particularly severe situation as it was announced in March 2022 that girl’s secondary education would be suspended. With access to basic education forming the foundation of any country, there is concern that the insufficiency of such access within Afghanistan will hinder its growth and stability.




One of the main reasons for Afghanistan’s low enrollment rate in basic education is the insufficient capacity of public schools. The construction of new school facilities and the rehabilitation of existing facilities are thus urgent issues. In addition, the country’s local education services that supplement public education services for out-of-school children face many operational challenges. For example, 500 supplementary classrooms in Kunar province (accounting for all such classrooms in the province) and 150 in Paktika province (approximately 30% of those in the province) will face difficulties in continuing in 2023 or 2024 due to a lack of funding.

This project aims to improve children’s access to basic education in the region where this access is low and there exists a significant gender disparity. It will do so by providing learning materials and operational support for local education services, as well as by rehabilitating public-school facilities and providing training for teachers and other staff. As a result, the project will contribute to the improvement of access to basic education in Afghanistan, as well as to the achievement of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) Goals 4 (Quality education) and 5 (Gender equality).

The details of the project are provided below.

Country The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Project title The Project for the Improvement of Access to Basic Education
Planned implementation period 26 months
Executing agency United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
Target region Kunar and Paktika provinces (tentative)
Specific project details
1. Facility improvements/equipment procurement
-Provision of learning materials for local education services
-Rehabilitation of public schools
2. Soft components
-Support for the operation of local education services
-Provision of teacher training for public school operation

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