Education Cannot Wait Announces US$2 Million First Emergency Response Grant in Egypt To Provide Life-Saving Access to Education for Children Fleeing Conflict in Sudan

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Sudanese refugee girl smiles in classroom in Egypt.

New grant will be delivered by UNHCR, reaching over 20,000 children with quality education. ECW calls on donors to scale-up funding for Sudan regional refugee response.

New York

As part of its regional response to the Sudan refugee crisis, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) announced today US$2 million in new grant funding in Egypt. The 12-month grant will be delivered by UNHCR, providing life-saving access to education for children fleeing the war in Sudan.

The war in Sudan has generated a vast humanitarian crisis. In all over 6.5 million people are estimated to be displaced both within Sudan and across the region, according to UNHCR. The UN considers this the largest child displacement crisis in the world today, with over 3 million children fleeing widespread violence. There are concerning reports of women and girls being abducted, forced marriage, recruitment of child soldiers, and other grave violations of human rights.

Since April 2023, over 300,000 people have fled to Egypt from Sudan, including 16,000 school-aged children. Prior to the recent conflict in Sudan, Egypt hosted 59,000 refugees from Sudan. The Government of Egypt has granted access to the public education system for Sudanese refugees. However, many refugees are attending community schools that make use of the Sudanese curriculum but are largely unregulated. The concentration of refugees in specific areas, coupled with the limited number of schools and over-stretched classrooms capacities, has created further challenges for the Egyptian education authorities in meeting the demand for education.

“The brutal war in Sudan must stop. Children are dying, girls and boys are being denied their human rights and their human dignity. We must act now as a global community to address this complex humanitarian crisis by ensuring children and adolescents have access to safe and protective learning environments, mental health and psychosocial services, and other holistic education opportunities. We are calling on world leaders to substantially increase funding for education in response to this devastating crisis,” said Yasmine Sherif, Executive Director of Education Cannot Wait, the global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises.

The new grant will reach more than 20,000 children and adolescents, with a focus on increasing access and continuity of education for newly arrived refugee learners, enhancing the quality of learning, ensuring equity, social cohesion and well-being, and strengthening the capacity of the national education system. 

ECW has provided US$8 million to date in response to the regional crisis, with First Emergency Response grants also announced in the Central Africa Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. To provide life-saving access to children impacted by the war in Sudan and other protracted crises across the globe, ECW is calling on donors, the private sector and philanthropic foundations to mobilize US$1.5 billion in support of the Fund’s 2023-2026 Strategic Plan, which will reach 20 million children and adolescents over the next three years.  

Note to Editors

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW):
Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is the global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises. We support quality education outcomes for refugee, internally displaced and other crisis-affected girls and boys, so no one is left behind. ECW works through the multilateral system to both increase the speed of responses in crises and connect immediate relief and longer-term interventions through multi-year programming. ECW works in close partnership with governments, public and private donors, UN agencies, civil society organizations, and other humanitarian and development aid actors to increase efficiencies and end siloed responses. ECW urgently appeals to public and private sector donors for expanded support to reach even more vulnerable children and youth.

On X (formerly Twitter), please follow: @EduCannotWait, @YasmineSherif1, @KentPage
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