EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT CALLS ON WORLD LEADERS TO URGENTLY FUND EDUCATION IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO WITH US$45.3 MILLION

Education Cannot Wait (ECW) Director Yasmine Sherif today called on world leaders to urgently support the children and youth in desperate need of education support in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), affected by new emergencies and multiple protracted crisis.

ECW Director Yasmine Sherif visits the Modale ‘Settlement of Hope’ with UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

4.7 million refugee, displaced and host community children and youth in urgent need of educational support

French Version

23 April 2021, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo – Education Cannot Wait (ECW) Director Yasmine Sherif today called on world leaders to urgently support the children and youth in desperate need of education support in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), affected by new emergencies and multiple protracted crisis.

An additional US$45.3 million is required to reach 200,000 children and youth impacted by the large-scale, complex and protracted crisis in the DRC through Education Cannot Wait’s multi-year resilience programme. The programme was launched with US$22.2 million in catalytic seed funding from ECW in December 2020, and is delivered by UNICEF as grantee, through a joint programme with the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, UN agencies and civil society organizations.

Sherif, the Director of ECW – the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies – made the appeal after meeting this week with senior government officials of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, key donors, UN agencies, and international and National NGOs in Kinshasa and visiting refugees from the Central African Republic in a settlement located 30 kms outside of Yakoma, Nord-Ubangi province, DRC.

“We can no longer turn a blind eye to this crisis and away from those left furthest behind. We have a global responsibility, moral imperative and commitments to honour before those suffering the most in this world. We urgently call on donors, the private sector and other partners to mobilize an additional US$45.3 million to reach 200,000 children and youth impacted by this crisis in DRC by 2023,” said Sherif. “The world must respond to this pressing crisis of profound human suffering. Girls face significant risks of child marriage, early pregnancy and sexual gender-based violence. Many children may never return to school, be forced to find work, join armed groups and pushed even further to the margins, of no return,” said Sherif. “Education provides these children and youth with learning, safety and protection, it provides them with hope to arise from the ashes of human misery and create a better future.”

Children and youth face significant protection risks in this escalating humanitarian and long-standing development crisis. According to recent estimates by local authorities, over 90,000 refugees have arrived in the DRC since the December 2020 presidential elections in neighboring Central African Republic, which displaced nearly a third of the country’s population.  This has occurred on top of ongoing crises in other parts of the country, such as in the provinces of Ituri, Tanganyika and Kasai Central. Throughout the country, the impact of COVID-19 and epidemics such as Ebola and cholera have been disastrous. School closures have resulted in at least six months of missed learning.

Education Cannot Wait and global partners have responded to the escalating humanitarian crisis in the DRC and neighboring countries with a number of education emergency investments in addition to the triple-nexus multi-year resilience programme delivered by UNICEF and partners.

An additional US$3.8 million has been allocated for ECW’s COVID-19 education in emergency response, and an ongoing multi-year resilience programme in the Central African Republic will reach an estimated 900,000 children in the next three years.

During this week’s visit, Sherif and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, announced an additional US$2 million ECW first emergency response grant to provide educational support for the influx of refugees.

Despite these ongoing support and efforts by all partners in DRC, funding is a major obstacle to ensure the right to a quality education for the children and adolescents in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT AND THE UN REFUGEE AGENCY ANNOUNCE US$2 MILLION GRANT FROM ECW TO RESPOND TO THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REFUGEE INFLUX IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

Education Cannot Wait Director Yasmine Sherif and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi announced today a US$2 million emergency education grant in response to the rapidly-escalating humanitarian crisis in the border region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic (CAR).

New emergency grant will provide learning opportunities for refugee and host community girls and boys in DRC settlements near the border of both countries

Available in French

21 April 2021, Modale Village, Nord-Ubangi Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo – Education Cannot Wait Director Yasmine Sherif and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi announced today a US$2 million emergency education grant in response to the rapidly-escalating humanitarian crisis in the border region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic (CAR).

Local authorities estimate that more than 90,000 people have fled from CAR into DRC since December 2020 after elections kicked off a new round of violence and mass displacement in the Central African Republic, including those who have fled to the Modale refugee site, located 30 kms from Yakoma, DRC.

“These refugee girls, boys and their families have faced horrible violence and insecurity. Thousands have walked for weeks and hid in the forests desperately seeking safety. Many have witnessed and experienced violence and soul-shattering trauma,” said ECW Director Yasmine Sherif following today’s visit to Modale. “They urgently need our support. We call on donors to urgently fund the remaining US$4 million gap for the education component of UNHCR’s response in this forgotten crisis. These girls and boys are the ones left furthest behind. We must provide them now with the safety and hope of quality education so they can survive and build a better future.”

“We have an urgent, shared responsibility to ensure that refugee children and youth are able to access quality education, delivered in a safe environment, at the earliest point possible during a crisis. We commend Education Cannot Wait for their commitment to providing targeted investments to support the response to the CAR crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including strengthening the national education system for the inclusion of refugee learners in a way which also benefits host community children and youth,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

This new, 12-month ECW ‘first emergency response’ grant of US$2 million will support UNHCR’s education response to the crisis, helping to ensure access to quality education for crisis-affected children and adolescents impacted by these forced displacements. The investment will be delivered by UNHCR in partnership with the Government of DRC and with local organizations such as AIRD (African Initiatives for Relief and Development) and ADSSEE.

The emergency response grant builds on ongoing support from ECW, UNHCR, United Nations agencies and global donors in DRC and neighboring countries. In December 2020, ECW announced a US$22.2 million catalytic grant to reach over 200,000 children and youth in DRC. An additional US$3.8 million has been allocated for ECW’s COVID-19 education in emergency response, and an ongoing multi-year resilience programme in the Central African Republic will reach an estimated 900,000 children in the next three years. In the education component of its humanitarian appeal, UNHCR is calling for US$7.8 million for its ongoing education programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

ECW ANNOUNCES A US$1 MILLION GRANT FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH IMPACTED AND DISPLACED BY CRISIS IN ETHIOPIA’S TIGRAY REGION

Education Cannot Wait (ECW) announced today US$1 million in emergency education grant financing to benefit 20,000 children and youth impacted by the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

UNICEF will implement first emergency response grant in coordination with the Government of Ethiopia, Save the Children, and local civil society

19 April 2021, New York/Addis Ababa – Education Cannot Wait (ECW) announced today US$1 million in emergency education grant financing to benefit 20,000 children and youth impacted by the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

The 12-month grant will be implemented by UNICEF in collaboration with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education, Save the Children and local civil society, and responds to the  risks posed by displacement, violence, COVID-19 and other factors that are pushing families from their homes and children out of school.

The new investment targets 2,000 pre-primary, 12,000 primary and 6,000 secondary school learners, as well as 250 teaching personnel. Overall, 52 per cent of beneficiaries are girls and 10 per cent are children with disabilities.

Across Ethiopia over 2.3 million children require education assistance, according to the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan for the country. In Tigray and the bordering regions, recent analysis indicates approximately 1.4 million girls and boys are being deprived of their right to an education. Approximately 2,500 schools have been closed due to violence in Tigray. Many schools are now being used to house displaced families. The COVID-19 pandemic had already made matters even worse, pushing over 26 million learners out of school for more than 9 months across the country.

“Without the safety and protection of continued education during the crisis, girls face increased risk of sexual and gender-based violence, early pregnancies, child marriage and other atrocities. Boys are exposed to being recruited into armed groups and some are forced into child labour. Without immediate support, they risk never returning to school, and their future will be lost,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, the global fund for education in emergencies.

“The Education Cannot Wait investment in the future of our children in Tigray is welcomed as we work to bring children back to school. The Ethiopian Government has already invested more than US$3 million for the rehabilitation of school infrastructures that have been damaged since 4 November 2020. Education must be protected in all its forms to enable children to learn in a safe and protective environment since it is an important means of promoting tolerance and conflict resolution. The additional financing by ECW is a great addition for the restoration of schools in the region,” said H.E. Getahun Mekuria (DR.-ING.), Minister of Education, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

“Children in most of Ethiopia have returned to school following COVID-19 restrictions – but not the 1.4 million school children in Tigray and bordering woredas (districts). This funding from Education Cannot Wait will be key in restoring and continuing the education of the children of Tigray,” said UNICEF Deputy Representative in Ethiopia, Michele Servadei. “UNICEF, along with Save the Children, will continue to work with the Ministry of Education and local education partners and stakeholders to provide protective learning environments and inclusive quality education to girls and boys.”

“Schools in Tigray have not been functional since the start of the conflict in November 2020, just one month after most schools re-opened across Ethiopia. Despite the challenges to reopen schools safely, first responder partners are continuously engaging with the Regional Education Bureau and the different clusters to expedite the process. It is key to train school principals and teachers, and work with the Relocation Task Team under the Shelter Cluster to relocate displaced families from schools that they currently live in,” said Ekin Ogutogullari, Country Director for Save the Children in Ethiopia.

The investment will improve equitable access to learning opportunities in a safe, protective and gender-sensitive environment, increase school and community engagement, build and rehabilitate temporary learning spaces, train teachers to address the unique psychosocial needs of girls and boys displaced by violence, and strengthen education services and coordination across the multiple agencies and partners responding to this crisis. Teachers and students will also benefit from improved access to water and sanitation facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The current funding builds on the impact of ECW’s US$27 million catalytic investment for Ethiopia’s multi-year resilience programme, and a US$15 million grant that helped raise the primary gross enrolment ratio for refugee children from 62 per cent in 2018 to 67 per cent in 2019. Across the border in South Sudan, ECW and partners are responding to the needs of refugees with a US$2 million investment announced in January 2021 and a multi-year resilience programme.

A large funding gap still exists to support ECW’s multi-year resilience investments in both Ethiopia and South Sudan.

“We are calling on world leaders to urgently and fully fund our global investments for children and youth impacted by the converging crises of climate change, conflict and COVID-19. With US$400 million in additional resources, we can ensure that we leave no one behind in their most difficult time of crisis and can instead restore hope,” Sherif added.

REACHING THOSE LEFT FURTHEST BEHIND, WITH SPEED, EFFICIENCY AND QUALITY

Download our new Added Value Note to learn more about ECW’s unique value proposition to deliver quality education to the children and youth left furthest behind in emergencies and protracted crises. 

Download our new Added Value Note to learn more about ECW’s unique value proposition to deliver quality education to the children and youth left furthest behind in emergencies and protracted crises. 

Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is the global fund dedicated to education in emergencies and protracted crises. We reach those left furthest behind: refugee, internally displaced and crisis-affected children and youth, and their teachers and communities – all of whom are desperately holding on to hope in refugee camps and communities torn by war, forced displacement, climate-induced disasters and other crises. THIS IS OUR ADDED VALUE.

Today, an estimated 128 million vulnerable girls and boys live in crisis settings where official or de facto authorities are either unable or unwilling to deliver their inherent human right: the basic service of an inclusive, equitable quality education. Their lives are a constant survival amidst conflicts, disasters, and systematic violations of human rights, humanitarian and refugee law.

To reach these girls and boys, ECW works directly through aid partners on the ground: United Nations (UN) agencies, and international and national civil society organisations. This allows ECW to act swiftly, strengthen accountability, and cut through red tape to deliver faster, better results in complex crisis situations, both in middle- and low-income countries.

The Fund’s investments are aligned to existing government strategies, as well as to humanitarian and refugee response plans, and are targeted to fill identified funding and programmatic gaps so these girls and boys can benefit from the hope, safety and potential of a quality education.

ECW is established within the UN system and works closely with other multilateral stakeholders (e.g. European Union, African Union, World Bank/Global Partnership for Education, amongst others). The Fund works in partnerships – at the global, regional and national levels – to end siloed responses through joint programming, increase efficiency, and connect immediate relief and longer-term interventions; thus, achieving quality education outcomes and strengthening resilience amid crises.

As the world grapples to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and to address climate change threats, ECW is uniquely positioned to answer the UN Secretary General’s call for a ‘New Social Contract and a New Global Deal’ that creates equal opportunities for all and respects the rights and freedoms of all – with education and digital technology as the ‘two great enablers and equalizers.’

Read the full Added Value Note here.

“As we enter 2021, education must be at the core of pandemic response and recovery efforts. Without resolute political commitment by global leaders, as well as additional resources for Education Cannot Wait, and its UN and civil society partners, millions of girls and boys may never return to school. Investing in the education of these vulnerable children and youth is an investment in peace, prosperity and resilience for generations to comeand a priority for the United Nations.” – ANTÓNIO GUTERRES, UN SECRETARY-GENERAL

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT CALLS FOR US$116 MILLION IN EXPANDED SUPPORT FOR REFUGEE CHILDREN AND YOUTH IMPACTED BY THE VENEZUELA REGIONAL CRISIS

ECW announces an additional US$1.5 million grant to accelerate the impact of the Fund’s US$27.2 million multi-year education in emergency response for refugee, migrant and host-community children and youth in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru 

ECW announces an additional US$1.5 million grant to accelerate the impact of the Fund’s US$27.2 million multi-year education in emergency response for refugee, migrant and host-community children and youth in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru 

Spanish

1 April 2021, New York – In response to the Western Hemisphere’s largest humanitarian crisis, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) announced today a US$1.5 million regional grant to advance resource mobilization, policy support, data collection and advocacy to accelerate the impact of the Fund’s multi-year investments in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

The new allocation builds on ECW’s US$27.2 million in catalytic grants announced in December 2020. The funding supports multi-year resilience programmes in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru that aim to ensure continued access to inclusive and equitable quality education for over 350,000 vulnerable children and youth.

“We commend Colombia’s recently announced offer of temporary protection to Venezuelans, and hope that the grant from Education Cannot Wait will help implement this remarkable step forward and encourage other countries in the region to follow suit. Financing education for refugees is a moral and political imperative for all world leaders in the 21st Century,” stressed Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of Education Cannot Wait’s High-Level Steering Group.

With the issuance of the new grant, Education Cannot Wait’s Director Yasmine Sherif called on donors and the private sector to mobilize an additional US$116 million to support the Fund’s education in emergency responses for refugee children and youth in host communities impacted by the Venezuela Regional Crisis.

“Global leaders must step up to address this pressing humanitarian crisis. Over 5.4 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela have fled their country due to violence and insecurity. Girls and boys in this group are at risk of sexual exploitation, human trafficking, discrimination, hunger and malnutrition, and restricted access to schooling. If we don’t act now, many will never return to the safety and opportunity that an education provides,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, the global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises.

The escalating crisis in Venezuela has triggered the largest forced displacement in South America’s history. Globally, only the Syrian exodus is larger. Since 2015, a significant number of Venezuelans have fled into Colombia (2.4 million), Ecuador (1.5 million) and Peru (830,000).

As the situation in Venezuela continues to escalate, it is likely that Venezuelans seeking refuge in neighboring countries and beyond will not be able to return home safely any time soon. Many refugee and migrant children and youth lack documentation or official status, and oftentimes lack access to basic services, including health services, education and social services.

The COVID-19 crisis makes matters even worse. In Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, 28 million learners have been affected by school closures.

While ministries of education are making efforts to expand remote learning options and expand educational programmes to absorb the influx of refugees into local schools, refugee children are often left behind. Without access to the internet, computers and smartphones, these children are being cut off from distance learning opportunities.

New funding accelerates Venezuela regional crisis response

The new US$1.5 million ECW Acceleration Facility Grant supports regional public goods and a cross-border vision aimed at increasing access to quality, inclusive education for refugee, displaced and host community children and youth impacted by the crisis.

The initiative will accelerate the impact of ECW’s country-level multi-year resilience programmes by strengthening education management information systems to integrate migrants and refugees, providing a platform for sharing lessons and good practices across the region, advocating and mobilizing additional resources at the regional and global level, and promoting dialogue for the development of positive education in emergency policies that ensure access and quality education in national systems.

Progress is already underway. With support from ECW, the Governments of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru are taking extraordinary measures to ensure refugee and displaced children have access to education.

Through ECW’s investments, children are provided with safe learning environments, improved access to remote learning and technologies that bridge the digital divide, and psychosocial services to help children deal with the trauma of being forcibly driven from their homes.

Built in coordination with governments, civil society, UN organizations and other key partners, ECW’s multi-year investments in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru align with existing educational, humanitarian and national development plans. The investments address both the immediate humanitarian needs and system-strengthening, enhancing the coherence between humanitarian and development interventions in the education sector.