We Have Promises to Keep
And Miles to Go Before We Sleep

Delivering quality education to children and adolescents caught in emergencies and protracted crises with speed, agility and strategic partnerships

Total children and adolescents reached:

Main job role

6.9 million

48% girls

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0.9% children with disabilities
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30% Refugees

13% IDPs

57% Other crisis-
affected children

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countries assisted

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Children and adolescents reached with COVID-19 interventions

31.2 million

52% girls

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8% refugees
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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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“We call on donors, private sector and high-net worth individuals to join us in delivering on our promises. Let's make #222MillionDreams✨📚 come true through quality education.

To paraphrase the great poet, Robert Frost: 'We have promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep'.”

Yasmine Sherif

Director of Education Cannot Wait.


Our Key Results

In 2021, ECW expanded its impact as the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises. It continued its rapid response to a global pandemic while further strengthening its work at the global, national and local levels 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 32 crisis-affected countries in 2021. 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

    ECW mobilized $1.07 billion through its Trust Fund from inception (2016) to 2021, including $388.6 million in 2021 alone. An additional US$685 million in new funding was mobilized by donors and partners at country level for other programmes that are strongly aligned and coordinated with the MYRPs in 19 countries.

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    Delivering across the humanitarian-development nexus

    In 2021, six new Multi-Year Resilience Programmes (MYRPs) were developed and one was renewed, increasing the number of active MYRPs to 24.

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    Holistic needs embedded in educational settings

    All new MYRPs in 2021 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

    The share of funding targeting refugees and IDPs has grown from about 38% (2019) to 64% (2021). ECW has reached nearly 2.6 million refugees and IDPs since the Fund’s inception (43% of the total reached).

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    Inclusion and equality commitment

    Nearly half of our beneficiaries in 2021 were girls and 92% of reporting programmes indicated an improvement in gender parity. ECW focuses on reaching marginalized groups in crises – including girls, refugees, displaced children and children with disabilities.

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    Agility and speed

    ECW aims to disburse funds and start programmes within eight weeks of an emergency or country appeal. In 2021, for acute emergencies (i.e., natural disasters, including the COVID-19 outbreak), the average speed of disbursement of FERs was nine weeks, with 50% of grants meeting the 8 weeks target. For responses to an escalation of a crisis, the average speed was 17 weeks, as these tend to warrant a more robust analysis of needs.

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    Ground‑breaking initiatives

    ECW is the 'go-to' organization for innovation and creativity. At Dubai Cares' RewirED Summit in 2021, ECW became a founding sponsor of the Refugee Connected Education Challenge, an effort led by UNHCR to ensure schools that host child refugees and IDPs are included in global digital education and connectivity efforts.

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Our Active Grants

In 2021, ECW had active grants in 32 crisis-affected countries.

ECW had 174 active grants in 32 crisis-affected countries in 2021 and distributed $495.8 million during the year through its FER, MYRP and AF investment modalities.

FER investments

MYRP investments

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COVID-19 related

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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.

Allocations per funding window

FER: ECW allocated $19 million through the 12 First Emergency Response window programmes approved in 2021.

MYRP: Six new MYRPs were launched and one renewed in 2021, increasing the number of active MYRPs to 24 with total amount of $121.2 million allocated under this funding window for 2021.

Acceleration Facility: $2.6 million was allocated with 13 new AF grants to scale innovations and build institutional capacity for coordination within the education in emergencies and protracted crises sector in 2021.

Initial Investment: No new allocations are made in 2021 and the window is closed.

in US$

Total (since inception): US$632.8

2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 MYRP IIN FER AF Total 2017 69.2 M Total 2016 10 M Total 2018 74.3M Total 2019 152.4M Total 2020 184M Total 2021 142.9M 10.0 2.5 45.0 21.7 53.9 20.1 0.3 108.8 105.4 121.2 41.1 69.4 19.1 2.5 9.2 2.6

Funds mobilized per donor category

In 2021, ECW mobilized a total of $388.6 million from its Trust Fund to reach crisis-affected children with education. Bilateral donors contributed $345.3 million, with Germany making a significant contribution of $285.4 million. Multilateral donors contributed $29.1 million and private sector donors contributed $14.3 million.

in US$
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 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 2021 388.6M Total 2018 155.7M Total 2019 263.5M

Our Donors

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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United Kingdom

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United States

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Get Involved

Globally, an estimated 222 million crisis-affected children and adolescents need urgent education support.

Join our #222MillionDreams campaign!

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Download our social media kit to be part of our ECW global movement supporting quality education outcomes for these children so that they can realize their dreams!