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Last Updated 8th February 2023.

This page will be updated with new forecasts for 2023 soon.

In the meantime, read on below for the last forecast for 2022.

How much funding is the Education Sector forecast to receive in 2022?

Funding to the Education sector forecast to be between $824m and $1058m in 2022. Our central estimate is $919m. For reference, the Education sector received $541m last year.

This forecast is based on our 95% probability range. In other words, we are 95% sure that funding will be between $824m and $1058m. Below are the other forecast ranges for the Education sector. As we become less sure about our forecast, the range narrows. So for example, we think there’s a 50% probability that funding will be between $880m and $965m.

But we need to put this into context. What does the forecast mean in terms of reaching the funding that is required for the sector (also known as the funding requirement)? The total funding requirement globally is determined by how much is needed in each context. Given that we don’t have the information yet we have projected the funding required for 2022 and compared that to the funding forecast. If you hover over the donut below you’ll be able to see the chances of reaching 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of the funding that is required.

We think that it’s almost certain that Education will receive at least 25% of their funding requirement. Reaching this milestone was the norm for the sector between 2016 and 2020, but the sector dipped slightly below this threshold last year at 19%.

How does the 2022 forecast compare to previous years?

The forecast has Education receiving 28% to 36% of the current funding requirement. This could be a potentially huge uplift for the sector and a chance to close its funding gap significantly. However, before this, the Education Sector received 41% of their funding requirement on average – so it would be a step in the right direction, but by no means unprecedented. The percentage received didn’t particularly change too much until last year when the funding requirement exploded to $2.9bn. This was the primary factor behind the worst funding gap in recent years.

To put it bluntly, our graph shows that in each year that passes more children are in need of education and will not be accessing it. The funding gap in 2021 is more than twice that of the funding gap in 2020. However, this could be changing this year.

The huge increase in the funding requirement in 2021 is reflective of greater visibility of Education funding requirements in Refugee Response Plans (RRPs). Previously, funding in RRPs was included in a catch-all ‘Multi-sector’ bucket, but not in 2021 where funding requirements were classified as ‘Education’ and other sectors. And therefore, the funding requirement in 2021 better reflects the complete picture of Education funding requirements compared to previous years.

On the face of it this may be disappointing. However, this is balanced with the trend in funding received to the sector in recent years. Since 2016, funding has increased from $230m to $646m in 2021. This is an acceleration in funding that is not matched by many other sectors. Note that the sector had already received $776m by the end of December 2022, suggesting a further increase in 2022.

Yet, with the funding gap increasing in the last three years, that means Education is already in a real humanitarian recession. In this story, we’ve defined a real humanitarian recession as two consecutive years of a growing funding gap. Education has already experienced two years of a growing funding gap. So what are the odds of the sector staying in recession?

We think that it’s almost certain that the Education sector will experience real growth this year. This means that we think that the funding gap for Education will close. Given that the funding gap last year was 78%, this is a hugely welcome development.

How does the 2022 forecast compare to other sectors?

Education is on course to rank as the 7th highest sector for funding received, and in a similar range to Emergency Shelter and NFI.

The current state of things

By the end of December 2022, funding to the Education sector ($776m) is above levels of any previous year. This is slightly unexpected – especially as there is a huge jump in funding in May 2022. Could this be a one-off and reflect that a huge amount of this funding ($164m+) went to Afghanistan in this month? Or does this reflect a higher equilibrium of funding for the sector.

Throughout the course of 2021, Education funding was higher than previous years at all points during the year. The most fascinating thing about the 2021 funding level is that it starts off at $118m already in the ‘pre-year’ period. Starting the year far above the position of previous years isn’t something that had been observed in other sectors either. Could it be that there was education funding that had been intended for 2020 but couldn’t be used due to COVID-19 restrictions?

We can’t say for sure, but the data provides a hint in this direction. Of the $118m that was already logged before the year began in 2021, 83% of the funding had a budget year of 2020. Compare this to 2020 when of the $28m that was logged before that year, only 20% of funding was tagged as having a budget year of the previous year.

And it’s not just this signal in the ‘pre-year’ period that is fascinating. The story of funding to the Education Sector in 2020 and 2021 is particularly interesting. Whilst you may have thought there would be a noticeable ‘COVID slump’ in funding as funds are reallocated to efforts to fight the pandemic, or governments and donors may have tightened their purse strings as a result of the general economic climate, this doesn’t appear to be the case for Education. Funding in 2020 beat previous years and 2021 could yet still be the largest year on record for Education funding.

Features of the Education Sector in 2021

The average Education response only received 25% of what was required in 2021. This sounds quite bad, but this percentage is around average when we compare it to other sectors. Of the 42 Education responses in 2021, 10 of these were able to meet 50% of their funding requirement, including Mozambique (128%), Honduras Flash Appeal (122%), and the Kenya Flash Appeal (121%) which all surpassed the 100% mark.

However, at the other end of the spectrum, 8 contexts didn’t even reach 10% of what was required. These included two non-HRP plans, including the Haiti Flash Appeal and an “other” plan (Northern Ethiopia).

This begs the question: why are some contexts more funded than others? Is it just year-on-year variation, donor preferences, underreporting, or something else? We’ll explore this in more detail in the future in our Stories section. We’re also currently working on an “Equity Index” to measure the extent to which funding across a sector is unequal – stay tuned!

The Education sector is diverse, with no one donor dominating the sector. The largest donors are: ECHO (34%); UNICEF (9%), the Governments of the USA (8%), the World Bank (7%), followed by the Governments of Germany (6%), Norway (4%), and Japan (4%). These eight donors collectively contribute 71% of funding. Another 67 donors contribute the remaining 29%.

There are two implications to this apparent diversity in funding sources. Firstly, the lack of reliance on a few donors, and the sheer number of sources of funding for Education, hints towards a sector that is resilient to external shocks. If one donor suffers a short-term shock to funding, there are enough sources of funding for the sector as a whole not to suffer. The extreme scenario can be seen in 2020 when you might expect all actors to suffer from an external shock due to COVID (each to varying extents). Even despite this ‘Act of God‘, the Education sector posted it’s best year ever in absolute terms, receiving $551m, and meeting 39% of it’s funding requirement (above 2016 levels). This suggests a sector that’s sufficiently diverse enough to be resilient to shocks. We’ve published a story about this here.

The second implication of this is that power is distributed, and no one donor dominates the sector. We can calculate the market concentration using the Herfindahl Hirschman Index. Though definitions differ, on a scale of 0 to 10,000, a sector is unconcentrated and competitive with a score under 1,500. The Education Sector has a score of 1,422, indicating an unconcentrated sector. A plurality of perspectives is good in terms of limiting the power of any one actor, enabling a diversity of thought, and increasing competition between programme models, which should all in theory be best for beneficiaries.

In terms of those receiving the funding, UNICEF is unsurprisingly the biggest recipient of funding (47% of total funding), followed by WFP (21%). Whilst it is difficult to know what the WFP funding was for exactly, the description of funding in part relates to school feeding and nutrition programmes. This is then followed by Save the Children (7%), NRC (5%), and UNRWA (4%).

2021 Forecast

Last year’s forecast can’t yet be judged against what the reality was as the 2021 numbers aren’t ‘final’ yet, despite it being 2022 already. It varies year-to-year, but there is still a non-trivial amount of funding that is logged after the end of the year. Therefore, we can’t really judge last year’s forecast until some point later in 2022. It’s at this point that we’ll do a post-mortem on our 2021 forecasts and see how well we did.


The usual health warning: FTS doesn’t capture everything. It is a platform that relies on voluntary reporting by organisations. But it is the most comprehensive source of data for humanitarian funding.

For forecast methodology, click here. We’ll be keeping a record of all our forecasts and success over time, which you can find here.

To find out methodology and sources for other things on this page which aren’t the forecast, click here.

Note: Numbers in ‘The current state of things’ graph may differ from elsewhere on the page as the data was extracted on a different date (13th January 2022) than other numbers that also show how much was received in 2022 (e.g. the column chart).