EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT WELCOMES OCHA UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL, GERMANY AND THE WORLD BANK GROUP TO ITS HIGH-LEVEL STEERING GROUP MEETING
4 October 2018, New York – Education leaders on the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) High-Level Steering Group, chaired by United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown, approved the fund’s $1.8 billion resource mobilization target for the period of its 2018-2021 Strategic Plan at their biannual meeting on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September in New York.
This financial target underpins ECW’s goal for its investments to be reaching 8.9 million children and youth in 25 priority countries affected by crisis by 2021 with quality education, improving their learning outcomes and enhancing their socio-emotional wellbeing and employability.
ECW’s Director, Yasmine Sherif, briefed the High-Level Steering Group (HLSG) on the latest achievements of ECW, highlighting the fund is on track to reach 1 million children and youth in 17 crisis-affected countries by the end of 2018 – 48 per cent of whom are girls. The Chair highlighted ECW’s latest allocation of US$35 million in seed funding to launch multi-year programmes in Uganda, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Brown also stressed ECW’s urgent need to raise $285 million in 2018-2019 to support the launch of additional planned multi-year programmes.
Participants discussed next steps for ECW as the fund scales up its support for education in crisis. They stressed the importance to increase educational support for girls living in crisis, extend support in protracted crisis, promote psychosocial services, focus on host communities, connect education in crisis with long-term development, ensure better services and inclusion of refugees and increase multi-year programmatic support.
Participating in the High-Level Steering Group meeting for the first time were Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (OCHA), along with high-level representatives from the World Bank and Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Netherlands and Dubai Cares announced new pledges of $17.5 million and $3.75 million respectively, while Sweden reiterated its $30 million contribution announced earlier this year. Later during the UN General Assembly week, Denmark announced a new $46 million pledge and Norway announced an additional $2.5 million increasing its 2018 contribution to a total $10 million, bringing the total new pledges to ECW during the week to $70 million. The World Bank noted its interest to formally join the ECW partnership.
“Access to education is a human right and its essential to ensure education for refugees,” said State Secretary of Norway Jens Frølich Holte in an address to the High-Level Meeting on Action for Refugee Education. “Norway, together with other important partners, took the initiative to increase support to education in emergencies and protracted crisis. This resulted in the launch of the global fund Education Cannot Wait, which you all know. And we were, and still are, very impressed with what has been achieved since it has been established in 2016. So impressed that just before we got here to New York, we decided to allocate 40 million krone [US$2.5 million] more to Education Cannot Wait. And we are very eager to keep on collaborating with Education Cannot Wait because the needs are great.”
Speaking on the “Humanitarian-Development Nexus” OCHA’s Mark Lowcock pointed out that joining humanitarian and development systems together is a top priority for the UN. He underscored the importance of multi-year humanitarian funding and that every humanitarian dollar invested needs to impact development. Lowcock also stressed that that modest progress was made in financing education needs in the humanitarian appeals system, but gaps to meet education needs in emergency contexts remain huge.
The next HLSG meeting will be held in April 2019 in Washington on the margins of the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings.
Meeting Participants (in alphabetical order):
Chair: Gordon Brown, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education,
Tariq Al Gurg, CEO, (Dubai Cares), Harriet Baldwin, Minister of State for Africa and International Development (United Kingdom) Tanya Barron, CEO (Plan International), Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development (Canada), Dean Brooks, Director, (Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies), Julie Cram, Deputy Assistant Administrator of the E3 Bureau USAID (United States), Henrietta Fore, Executive Director (UNICEF), Birgit Frank, Deputy Head of the Education Division of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Germany), Julia Gillard, Chair (Global Partnership for Education), Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education (UNESCO), Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Martin Bille Hermann, State Secretary for Development Policy (Denmark), Jens Frølich Holte, State Secretary (Norway), Anna Maria Alida Hoogenboom, Country Director (Novamedia / People’s Postcode Lottery), Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development (Netherlands), Dr. Justin Lee, First Assistant Secretary, Multilateral Policy Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia), Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (OCHA), Stefano Manservisi, Director-General, International Cooperation and Development (European Commission), Johannes Oljelund, Director-General for Development (Sweden), Jamie Saavedra, Senior Director for the Education Global Practice (The World Bank Group), Yasmine Sherif, Director (Education Cannot Wait), Helle Thorning-Schmiedt, CEO (Save the Children)