© UNICEF/Dejongh

Winning the Human Race

2020 Annual Results Report

Delivering education in emergencies and protracted crises around the world with decisive speed, agility and strategic partnerships

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(48% girls)

2.6 million

total children
and adolescents

40% 2019 95% 2020

% of programmes improving gender parity in access to education

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crisis-affected countries
assisted in 2020

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US$45.4 million


to 32 countries approved by ECW to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, disbursing first emergency response (FER) funds at record speed

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29.2 million

(51% girls)

children and adolescents reached with COVID-19 interventions

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“COVID-19 has compounded the effects of armed conflict, instability, climate-related disasters and forced displacement from Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, to the Sahel, Ethiopia, and Venezuela – to name but a few of the crises where ECW is working with partners to fulfill the right of every girl and boy to a safe, quality education.

We can win the human race provided that we are ready to invest in it and ensure that these children and adolescents access an inclusive 12 years of quality education. This is an investment in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, an investment in peace, an investment in our future, and an investment in our universal human rights and our shared humanity.”

Yasmine Sherif

Director of Education Cannot Wait.

© ECW/Shananuzzaman-Angkan

Our Key

Education Cannot Wait reaffirmed itself as the global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crisis in 2020, responding rapidly to a global pandemic while continuing to build a global movement with strategic partners to provide children and youth in armed conflicts, forced displacement, climate change-induced disasters and protracted crises with the safety, hope and opportunity of an education.

Working with our broad range of partners, ECW had active grants in 34 crisis-affected countries in 2020. This report captures the results delivered through these investments to support inclusive and equitable quality education for the millions of girls and boys caught in humanitarian crises.

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Delivering across the humanitarian‑development nexus

In 2020, eight new Multi-Year Resilience Programmes (MYRPs) were developed, increasing the number of active MYRPs to 18.

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Holistic needs embedded in educational settings

All new MYRPs in 2020 included a ‘whole-of-child’ approach – focusing on gender, protection, and mental health and psychosocial support.

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Reaching those left furthest behind

Forcibly displaced girls and boys accounted for 54% of all children and adolescents reached with inclusive, equitable quality education during the year, while girls accounted for 48%.

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Inclusion and equality commitment

Nearly half of our beneficiaries in 2020 were girls. ECW focuses on reaching them and the other marginalized groups in crises – young refugees, displaced children, and children with disabilities.

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Agility and speed

Amidst the new challenges brought on by COVID-19, four MYRPs quickly re-programmed their initiatives to simultaneously target existing crises and the pandemic.

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Ground‑breaking initiatives

ECW became a ‘go-to’ organization for innovation and creativity, supporting initiatives through its Acceleration Facility, exploring new partnerships, and adapting areas of focus – such as connectivity and climate action.

Our Active Grants

ECW had active grants in 34 crisis-affected countries in 2020, distributing $138 million to 29 grantees.

ECW had active grants in 34 crisis-affected countries in 2020, and distributed $138M to 29 grantees during 2020 through its FER, MYRP and AF investment modalities.

FER investments

MYRP investments

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COVID-19 related

Initial Investment

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The boundaries, names, and designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations, Education Cannot Wait, or partner countries.

Disbursement per funding window

FER: ECW distributed $69 million through the First Emergency Response window (including COVID-responses).

MYRP: Eight new MYRPs were launched in 2020, increasing the number of active MYRPs to 18 with total disbursements under this funding window at $62 million.

Acceleration Facility: $6.5 million were invested to scale innovations and build institutional capacity for coordination within the education in emergencies and protracted crisis sector.

In US dollars 0 20M 40M 60M 80M 100M 120M 140M 160M 2017 2018 2019 2020 0 25.90M 13.40M 76.99M 62.07M 14.43M 0.75M 2.00M 4.89M 41.02M 69.27M 6.53M 26.34M 18.06M 10.58M 0 M Y R P F E R A F I nitial Investment (II) Total 2017 54.2M Total 2018 46.6M Total 2019 133.5M Total 2020 137.9M

Funds mobilized per donor category

In 2020, ECW mobilized a total of US$ 91.9 million for its trust fund to reach crisis-affected children with education. Bilateral donors contributed $64.4 million, multilateral donors contributed $7.7 million and private sector donors contributed $19.7 million.

In US dollars 0 50 100 150 200 250 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 19.1 0.5 2.5 21.5 19.7 71.2 80.2 155.7 236.1 64.4 5.9 7.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 Bilateral donors Multilateral donors Private Sector donors Total 2016 73.7M Total 2017 99.8M Total 2020 91.9M Total 2018 155.7M Total 2019 263.5M


Delivering education in emergencies and protracted crises around the world with decisive speed, agility and strategic partnerships.

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European Union

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