EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT APPROVES US$2 MILLION FOR EDUCATION IN EMERGENCY RESPONSE FOR REFUGEE CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN EASTERN SUDAN

Responding to a surge in refugees fleeing violence in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, ECW funding will be used to build urgently needed learning centres and expand water and sanitation facilities in refugee settlements in eastern Sudan            

Arabic Version

22 January 2021, New York – Education Cannot Wait (ECW) today approved a US$2 million allocation to support rapid education in emergencies interventions for children and youth fleeing violence in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. This emergency funding will help ensure continued access to quality pre-primary, primary and secondary education for at least 5,800 refugee children and youth in refugee settlements in the eastern regions of Sudan.

Recent fighting in Tigray has forced nearly 60,000 refugees to flee their homes and seek safety and protection across the border in Sudan. More than 30 per cent of them are children, with UNHCR planning a response in order to assist up to 100,000 refugees in eastern Sudan by mid-year.

With more refugees arriving every day, ECW joins the Government of Sudan, UN agencies and civil society in an inter-agency appeal to donors, the private sector and philanthropic foundations to immediately close the estimated US$6.6 million funding gap needed for the education in emergency response in eastern Sudan.

“These innocent girls and boys are the victims of conflict. They were forced to flee their homes with little more than the clothes on their back. Many have been separated from their families and have experienced violence, hunger and untold psychological trauma on the long and treacherous journey to the camps in eastern Sudan,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, the global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises. “Together with our partners, we will work to make sure they are able to access inclusive, safe and protective learning environments – including quality pre-primary, primary and secondary education – and to ensure that learning facilities offer access to gender- and disability-sensitive water and sanitation facilities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases.”

The 12-month ECW ‘first emergency response’ grant will be implemented by Islamic Relief Worldwide (US$400,000), the Norwegian Refugee Council (US$600,000), Save the Children (US$500,000), and UNHCR (US$500,000), in close partnership with the Government of Sudan.

“Education is essential for every child, especially those who have been uprooted and have seen their daily lives and learning opportunities disrupted. To refugee children, education brings a sense of hope, stability and the chance to look to a brighter future,” said Axel Bisschop, UNHCR Representative in Sudan. “The generous support from Education Cannot Wait allows us and partners to build on the Global Refugee Forum’s commitments aiming at having children return to learning within three months of displacement.”

“It is essential that when children are displaced, they are immediately provided with emergency temporary learning spaces. These spaces ensure children are supervised and kept safe, have improved access to food, water and health services, and are able to maintain a sense of normalcy and a school routine,” said Abdullah Fadil, UNICEF Sudan Representative. “We are grateful to Education Cannot Wait for supporting conflict-affected children displaced to eastern Sudan to fulfill their right to a quality education.”

ECW’s first emergency response will support the expansion of education infrastructure in the Tunaydbah and Um Rakuba refugee settlements. Girls and children with disabilities will benefit from specialised services, and teachers will be trained to ensure students receive the mental health and psychosocial support they need to adapt to their new environment.

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Notes to Editors:

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT APPROVES US$1.5 MILLION GRANT IN LEBANON FOR UN RELIEF & WORKS AGENCY FOR PALESTINE REFUGEE CHILDREN AND YOUTH 

New funding provides over 32,000 Palestine refugee children and youth with access to quality, inclusive education and expands COVID-19 prevention measures

Arabic Version | French Version

22 January 2021, New York – Education Cannot Wait (ECW) today announced US$1.5 million in grant funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in Lebanon.

The expanded funding will provide over 32,000 Palestine refugee children and youth living in Lebanon with access to safe and inclusive learning and will provide personal protective equipment for staff and students to help control the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of all.

“UNRWA tirelessly advocates for the right of all Palestine refugee children to inclusive quality education to develop their full potential – regardless of gender, abilities, disabilities, socio-economic status and health and psychosocial needs,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini. ”As these young girls and boys learn to practice the principles of tolerance, conflict resolution and human rights, they positively impact their community while growing into responsible adults.”

A high-level delegation led by Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, visited Lebanon last month to assess ECW’s support for damaged schools rehabilitation following the Beirut explosion, and to advance progress on a potential Education Cannot Wait facilitated multi-year resilience programme in Lebanon. ECW approved a US$1.5 million education in emergency response to the blast in September 2020 and US$2.8 million in COVID-19 education in emergency response funds last year.

“We must continue to work for, and support Palestine refugee children and youth in Lebanon. They have an inherent human right to protection and quality education. I am especially concerned about the threat of cuts for children with disabilities, whose dreams are at stake,” said Sherif. “I therefore call on all public and private sector donors to support UNRWA and Lebanon’s education system now. By doing so, all these crisis-affected girls and boys will be able to enjoy an inclusive and quality education. All will be given an equal opportunity to become their dream.”

With this new round of ECW funding, UNRWA will reach children in grades 1 to 9 through its Learning Support Programme (LSP), which will ensure that over 200 teachers deliver enhanced and tailored learning support to the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach students, especially children with disabilities. Over half of the project beneficiaries are girls. The new ECW investment will also provide personal protective equipment and supplies to 14,000 children to facilitate the safe reopening of schools and to help slow down the spread of COVID-19.

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Notes to editors:

Learn more about ECW-financed programmes in Lebanon.

Programme intervention focus areas:

Access: The intervention will provide services to support children’s access to quality, inclusive, and equitable education in a safe and healthy school environment with a focus on meeting the needs of the most vulnerable children

Continuity: The intervention supports the continuation of the Learning Support Programme (LSP) which reinforces the retention of students currently enrolled in schools, while the provision of PPEs and cleaning supplies enables UNRWA to continue to safely operate schools during the pandemic.

Gender Equality and Equity: The project provides tailored support for the individual learning needs of boys and girls, thus helping to prevent the risk of drop-outs.

Protection: The project will ensure the retention of students within the formal education system, considered to be one of the most important protective layers in a child’s life during times of crisis. Keeping children in school will also allow for the early detection of a range of child protection issues, as well as timely provision of additional support where needed and onwards referral to specialized services.

Quality: “Learning Support” is a special instructional approach designed to help students acquire a desired level of academic achievement by using instructional materials and techniques specifically designed to meet their individual needs in UNRWA schools. Supporting the continuity of the LSP ensures quality of both teaching and learning for all students.

LE FONDS ÉDUCATION SANS DÉLAI ET SES PARTENAIRES LANCENT UN PROGRAMME D’EDUCATION PLURIANNUEL POUR ASSURER L’ACCES A L’EDUCATION A PLUS DE 800 000 ENFANTS TOUCHES PAR LES CRISES AU BURKINA FASO

Éducation sans délai fait un investissement initial de 11,1 millions de dollars américains pour déployer le programme triennal de 59 millions de dollars américains

14 janvier 2021, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso – En collaboration avec le gouvernement du Burkina Faso, l’UNICEF et Enfants du Monde, Éducation sans délai (« Education Cannot Wait » en anglais ou « ECW » – le fonds mondial dédié à l’éducation dans les situations d’urgence et les crises prolongées – a lancé aujourd’hui un nouveau programme pluriannuel qui vise à assurer l’accès à l’éducation à plus de 800 000 enfants et adolescents dans les régions du pays touchées par la crise.

Le nouveau programme bénéficie d’un financement de démarrage de 11,1 millions de dollars sur trois ans de la part d’ECW, qui sera mise en œuvre par l’UNICEF (6,1 millions de dollars) et Enfants du Monde (5 millions de dollars) en collaboration avec les partenaires des Nations Unies et de la société civile. Il vise à mobiliser 48 millions de dollars supplémentaires auprès de donateurs publics et privés pour être entièrement financé. Les interventions du programme sont alignées avec la Stratégie nationale d’éducation en situation d’urgence du Burkina Faso et le Plan de réponse humanitaire du pays.

« Au Burkina Faso, le secteur de l’éducation subit les effets négatifs de la crise de la COVID-19 ainsi que de la crise sécuritaire actuelle. Cette dernière a entraîné la fermeture de plus de 2 300 écoles et le déplacement massif de plus d’un million de personnes, tandis que la pandémie de COVID-19 a provoqué la fermeture de toutes les écoles du pays pendant plusieurs mois. Je saisis donc cette occasion pour exprimer ma reconnaissance envers Éducation sans délai pour son appui indéfectible envers nos efforts pour soutenir l’éducation en situation d’urgence », a déclaré S.E. M. Stanislas Ouaro, Ministre de l’Éducation nationale et de l’Alphabétisation du Burkina Faso.

S’exprimant lors du lancement à Ouagadougou, la directrice d’ECW, Yasmine Sherif, a salué le leadership du Gouvernement et des partenaires en éducation quant à la qualité du programme spécialement conçu pour relever les défis spécifiques auxquels les filles et les garçons touchés par la crise sont confrontés pour accéder à une éducation de qualité dans les communautés touchées par la violence et l’insécurité, les déplacements forcés, l’insécurité alimentaire et les catastrophes (épidémies, sécheresses, inondations) qui sévissent au pays.

« La crise au Burkina Faso et dans tout le Sahel central est parmi les crises qui se détériorent le plus rapidement dans le monde. Nous pouvons soit regarder et ne rien faire, soit agir maintenant en investissant dans les enfants et les adolescents pour leur donner les moyens de réaliser leur plein potentiel et de devenir des agents de changement positifs pour leurs communautés », a-t-elle déclaré. « Au fonds Éducation sans délai, nous croyons au véritable pouvoir transformateur d’une éducation de qualité. Avec le lancement de ce nouveau programme, nous appelons d’autres donateurs à se joindre à nous pour garantir qu’aucune fille ni aucun garçon ne soit laissé pour compte au Burkina Faso ».

Mme. Sherif a souligné l’approche holistique des interventions planifiées pour répondre à la gamme complète des besoins des enfants et des jeunes vulnérables, y compris le soutien en matière de santé mentale, psychosocial et nutritionnel, ainsi que l’accent mis sur l’éducation des filles et la promotion d’environnements d’apprentissage sûrs et protecteurs conformément à la Déclaration sur la sécurité dans les écoles. « Nous ne pouvons pas laisser des enfants se rendre à l’école sans savoir s’ils en sortiront vivants. La Déclaration sur la sécurité dans les écoles et le droit international doivent être respectés », a-t-elle déclaré.

Le financement pluriannuel d’ECW cible 60 pour cent de filles et se concentre sur les plus vulnérables, y compris les enfants déplacés et les enfants des communautés d’accueil, ainsi que les enfants handicapés. Le programme assure la continuité de l’éducation de la petite enfance (25 pour cent des enfants visés) au primaire (43 pour cent) et jusqu’au secondaire (33 pour cent).

Ces dernières années, la violence et l’insécurité ont contraint 1 000 000 de personnes à fuir leur domicile au Burkina Faso. En raison de l’insécurité croissante et des violentes attaques contre l’éducation, les enseignants et les élèves, les fermetures d’écoles ont doublé entre 2017 et 2019, perturbant l’éducation de plus de 400 000 enfants. La pandémie de COVID-19 en 2020 a exacerbé davantage les vulnérabilités aiguës des filles et des garçons déjà frappés par les crises.

À l’échelle nationale, un quart des filles et des garçons âgés de 6 à 11 ans ne sont pas scolarisés, et deux tiers de ceux-ci viennent de six des régions les plus à risque : Boucle de Mouhoun, Centre-Est, Centre-Nord, Est, Nord et Sahel. Le nouveau programme pluriannuel se concentre sur ces six régions, où le taux d’achèvement du primaire n’est que de 29 pour cent, soit moins de la moitié de ce qu’il est au niveau national, et où 56 pour cent des filles et des garçons, en particulier des adolescents, ne sont pas scolarisés. Le fait de ne pas être scolarisé expose ces filles, garçons et adolescents à de nombreux risques, notamment le recrutement dans des groupes armés, le mariage forcé et la grossesse précoce, et l’engagement dans des pratiques dangereuses de travail des enfants.

Nous sommes convaincus que ce partenariat améliorera l’accès à l’éducation des enfants vulnérables gravement touchés par la crise et préviendra la perte d’apprentissage, le risque d’abandon scolaire et l’exposition aux risques de travail des enfants et de mariage forcé », a déclaré Sandra Lattouf, Représentante de l’UNICEF au Burkina Faso. « Nous savons que l’investissement dans l’éducation est essentiel pour donner aux filles et aux garçons la possibilité de réaliser leur plein potentiel et de devenir des citoyens actifs et productifs de l’avenir. Par conséquent, nous devons agir maintenant et accélérer nos actions pour protéger le financement de l’éducation, accélérer l’accès à des écoles sûres et réintégrer tous les enfants non scolarisés, en particulier les filles les plus marginalisées et les enfants handicapés ».

« Enfants du Monde est ravie d’avoir été sélectionnée comme l’un des bénéficiaires du prochain financement de l’ECW dans le cadre du programme pluriannuel de résilience. Elle s’engage à travailler avec les partenaires du consortium d’ONG nationales, du Ministère de l’Éducation à travers le Secrétariat Technique de l’Éducation en Situation d’Urgence et ses autres services techniques ainsi que le Cluster Éducation pour réaliser les objectifs définis dans le programme en appui à la Stratégie nationale d’éducation en situation d’urgence, » a déclaré Tougma Téné Sankara, Coordinateur Régional, Sahel, Enfants du Monde.

L’annonce du financement initial pluriannuel porte le total des investissements d’ECW au Burkina Faso à plus de 21 millions de dollars depuis la mi-2019. ECW a également annoncé de nouveaux investissements pour déployer des programmes de résilience pluriannuels similaires afin de répondre aux besoins éducatifs pressants dans les pays voisins du Mali et du Niger, qui sont également touchés par les crises qui sévissent au Sahel central.

Faits et chiffres clés:

  • Le budget total du programme pluriannuel de résilience 2021-2023 pour le Burkina Faso est de 59,1 millions USD. Avec une allocation généreuse de 11,1 millions de dollars de financement de démarrage du fonds Éducation sans délai, le programme vise à mobiliser 48 millions de dollars supplémentaires auprès de donateurs publics et privés pour être pleinement mis en œuvre.
  • Le programme pluriannuel de résilience cible 813 000 filles et garçons, y compris les adolescents, dans six régions prioritaires – Boucles de Mouhoun, Centre-Est, Centre-Nord, Est, Nord et Sahel.
  • Le financement de démarrage d’ECW ciblera directement 144 000 enfants (21% du total) dans trois des six régions prioritaires avec une vaste gamme d’interventions. Les bénéficiaires visés incluent les personnes exposées à des risques sanitaires élevés et / ou de sécurité, dont 87 000 (60%) sont des filles et des adolescentes et 14 000 (10%) sont des enfants et des adolescents handicapés. Par ailleurs, 9 000 filles et garçons supplémentaires, y compris des adolescents, bénéficieront de possibilités d’éducation non formelle.

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT AND PARTNERS LAUNCH MULTI-YEAR EDUCATION PROGRAMME TO DELIVER EDUCATION TO OVER 800,000 CHILDREN AFFECTED BY CRISES IN BURKINA FASO

Together with the Government of Burkina Faso, UNICEF and Enfants du Monde, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) – the global fund dedicated to education in emergencies and protracted crises – launched today a new multi-year programme that aims to provide education to over 800,000 children and adolescents in crisis-affected regions of the country.

ECW invests initial US$11.1 million to roll out the 3-year US$59 million programme

14 January 2021, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso – Together with the Government of Burkina Faso, UNICEF and Enfants du Monde, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) – the global fund dedicated to education in emergencies and protracted crises – launched today a new multi-year programme that aims to provide education to over 800,000 children and adolescents in crisis-affected regions of the country.

The new programme benefits from an initial three-year $11.1 million allocation in seed funding from ECW to be implemented by UNICEF ($6.1 million) and Enfants du Monde ($5 million) in collaboration with UN and civil society partners. It aims to mobilize an additional $48 million from public and private donors to be fully funded and reach all targeted children and youth. Programme interventions are aligned to Burkina Faso’s National Education in Emergencies Strategy and to the country’s Humanitarian Response Plan.

“In Burkina Faso, the education sector is suffering the negative effects of both the ongoing security and COVID-19 crises. The security crisis resulted in the closure of more than 2,300 schools and a massive displacement of more than one million people. The COVID-19 pandemic further resulted in the closure of all schools in Burkina Faso for several months. I therefore take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Education Cannot Wait for their unwavering support in our efforts to support education in emergencies,” said H.E. Mr. Stanislas Ouaro, Minister of National Education and Literacy for Burkina-Faso.

Speaking at the launch in Ouagadougou, ECW Director Yasmine Sherif commended the leadership of the Government and education partners in Burkina Faso in designing a programme addressing the specific challenges of crisis-affected girls and boys in accessing quality education in communities affected by the violence and insecurity, forced displacement, food insecurity and natural and man-made disasters (epidemics, drought, floods).

“The crisis in Burkina Faso and in the whole Central Sahel is among the fastest deteriorating in the world. We can either watch and do nothing, or we can actually act now by investing in children and adolescents to empower them to achieve their full potential and become positive change agents for their communities,” said Yasmine Sherif. “At Education Cannot Wait, we believe in the true transformative power of quality education. With the launch of this new programme, we appeal to additional donors to join us to ensure no girls and boys are left behind in Burkina Faso.”

Ms. Sherif stressed the holistic approach of the planned interventions to meet the full range of needs of vulnerable children and youth, including mental health, psychosocial and nutrition support, as well as the focus on girls’ education and the promotion of safe and protective learning environments in line with the Safe School Declaration. “We cannot have children going to school and not knowing if they will come out alive. The Safe School Declaration and International Law have to be respected,” said Sherif.

ECW’s multi-year funding targets 60 per cent girls, and focuses on the most vulnerable, including both forcibly displaced and host community children, as well as children with disabilities. The programme ensures continuity from early childhood education (25 per cent of the total children targeted), to primary (43 per cent) and secondary (33 per cent).

In recent years, violence and insecurity have forced 1,000,000 people to flee their homes in Burkina Faso. Due to growing insecurity and violent attacks against education, teachers and students, school closures doubled between 2017 and 2019, disrupting education for more than 400,000 children. The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 further exacerbated the acute vulnerabilities of girls and boys already caught in crisis.

Nationwide, a quarter of girls and boys aged 6-11 are out of school, two-thirds of whom come from six of the highest risk regions: Boucle de Mouhoun, Centre-East, Centre-North, East, North and Sahel. The new multi-year programme focuses on these six regions, where the primary completion rate is just 29 per cent, or less than half of what it is at the national level; and where 56 per cent of girls and boys, particularly adolescents, are out of school. Being out of school exposes these girls, boys, and adolescents to a plethora of risks including recruitment into armed groups, forced marriage and pregnancy, and engagement in harmful child labour work practices.

“We are confident that this partnership will improve the access to education for vulnerable children severely impacted by the crisis and prevent learning loss, the risk of drop-out and exposure to risks of child labor and forced marriage” said Sandra Lattouf, UNICEF Representative in Burkina Faso. “We know that investing in education is critical to give girls and boys the opportunity to realize their full potential and to become active and productive citizens of the future. Therefore, we must act now, and accelerate our actions to protect education financing and to fast track the access to safe schools and reintegrate all children out-of-school, especially the most marginalized girls and children with disabilities”

“Enfants du Monde is pleased to have been selected as one of the grantees of ECW’s seed funding allocation to the Multi-Year Resilience Programme in Burkina Faso. We are committed to working with partners from the national NGO consortium, the Education Ministry through the Technical Secretariat for Education in Emergencies and its other technical services as well as with the Education Cluster to meet the programme objectives in support of the National Strategy for Education in Emergencies,” said Tougma Téné Sankara, Regional Coordinator Sahel,  Enfants du Monde.

The announcement of the multi-year seed funding brings the total of ECW investments in Burkina Faso to over $21 million since mid-2019. ECW has also announced new investments to roll out similar multi-year resilience programmes to respond to pressing education needs in the neighbouring countries of Mali and Niger, which are also affected by crises in the Central Sahel.

Key facts and figures:

  • The full cost of the 2021-2023 Multi-Year Resilience Programme for Burkina Faso is US$59.1 million. With a generous $11.1 million seed funding allocation from Education Cannot Wait, the programme aims to mobilize an additional $48 million from public and private donors to be fully implemented.
  • The Multi-Year Resilience Programme targets 813,000 girls and boys, including adolescents, in six priority regions – Boucles de Mouhoun, Centre-East, Centre-North, East, North and Sahel.
  • ECW’s seed funding will directly target 144,000 (21% of the total) learners in three of the six priority regions with a comprehensive package of interventions. This includes those exposed to major health and/or security challenges, of whom 87,000 (60%) are girls and adolescent girls and 14,000 (10%) are children and adolescents with disabilities. An additional 9,000 girls and boys, including adolescents, will benefit from non-formal education opportunities.

LE FONDS ÉDUCATION SANS DÉLAI APPROUVE 33,3 MILLIONS DE DOLLARS DES ÉTATS-UNIS POUR LE BURKINA FASO, LE MALI ET LE NIGER AU SAHEL CENTRAL

En réponse à l’aggravation des crises au Sahel central, ces nouveaux programmes bénéficieront à 300 000 enfants et jeunes touchés par le déplacement, les conflits et la COVID-19 

New York, le 4 janvier 2021 – Éducation sans délai a annoncé aujourd’hui le déboursement de 33,3 millions de dollars É.-U. de subventions aux investissements à effet catalyseur, en réponse à la crise sanitaire et humanitaire qui touche le Sahel central au Burkina Faso, au Mali et au Niger. Ces investissements donnent lieu à un total de 103 millions de dollars É.-U. d’investissements de la part d’Éducation sans délai, approuvés le mois dernier pour les enfants réfugiés, déplacés de force, vivant dans des communautés d’accueil et autres filles et garçons vulnérables dans ces pays, ainsi que pour les enfants et les jeunes touchés par la crise en République démocratique du Congo, au Nigeria, en Colombie, en Équateur et au Pérou.

Ces nouveaux programmes pluriannuels de résilience au Burkina Faso, au Mali et au Niger réuniront les acteurs des secteurs de l’humanitaire et du développement pour offrir conjointement aux enfants et aux jeunes laissés pour compte dans le Sahel central une éducation inclusive et de qualité. Ils s’étendront sur trois ans, avec pour objectif de mobiliser 117 millions de dollars É.-U. supplémentaires sous forme de cofinancement de la part de partenaires nationaux et internationaux, du secteur privé et de fondations philanthropiques.

La situation humanitaire s’aggrave au Sahel central en raison de multiples crises. Les terribles attaques perpétrées par des groupes armés non étatiques contre des civils dans les villages de Tchoma Bangou et Zaroumadareye au Niger le 2 janvier, qui ont tué au moins 100 personnes, dont 17 enfants (selon l’UNICEF), et blessé et déplacé des dizaines d’autres, témoignent de la façon dont la violence dans la région menace l’avenir de toute une génération. Les civils, y compris les enfants – et l’éducation – doivent en tout temps être protégés contre les attaques armées. Les investissements d’ECW soutiennent la mise en œuvre de la Déclaration sur la sécurité dans les écoles afin de promouvoir la sécurité des filles et des garçons et de protéger les élèves, les enseignants et les écoles des pires effets des conflits armés.

Les filles sont touchées de manière disproportionnée par ces crises de longue durée. C’est pourquoi les investissements d’Éducation sans délai font de leur éducation – du niveau préscolaire au niveau secondaire – une priorité, en veillant à ce que 60 % des bénéficiaires dans les trois pays soient des femmes. Éducation sans délai souligne également la nécessité d’atteindre les personnes les plus délaissées dans les contextes de crises prolongées. Les enfants et les adolescents en situation de handicap représentent ainsi 10 % des personnes à atteindre grâce à ce financement pluriannuel.

« Au Sahel central, des millions de filles et de garçons vivent en première ligne des conflits armés, de la faim, des déplacements forcés et de la pauvreté. La COVID-19 et l’augmentation des catastrophes liées aux changements climatiques exacerbent les défis auxquels ces enfants font déjà face pour exercer leur droit à l’éducation. L’éducation représente leur seul espoir. Toutefois, davantage de ressources financières sont nécessaires pour financer entièrement ces programmes conjoints, soigneusement conçus et adaptés aux crises, qui transformeront l’éducation dans le Sahel central, à condition que le financement soit disponible », a déclaré Gordon Brown, Envoyé spécial des Nations unies pour l’éducation mondiale et Président du Comité directeur de haut niveau d’Éducation sans délai.

Les programmes s’appuient sur les résultats dans les trois pays des premiers investissements en situation d’urgence d’Éducation sans délai à hauteur de 30 millions de dollars, qui ont été lancés en 2019. Ces premières réponses en situation d’urgence concernent actuellement plus de 250 000 filles et garçons touchés par les déplacements forcés dans la région.

« Les enfants, les jeunes et leurs enseignants sont désemparés face à l’absence d’une éducation inclusive de qualité et d’un environnement d’apprentissage sûr, car ils sont également la cible de violentes attaques », explique Yasmine Sherif, Directrice d’Éducation dans délai, le Fonds mondial pour l’éducation en situation d’urgence ou de crise prolongée. « Je les ai rencontrés. J’ai vu à la fois le désespoir et la résilience de jeunes adolescentes, qui revendiquent leur droit à l’éducation et demandent à être protégées contre le mariage précoce. Nous pouvons changer tout cela. Les investissements d’Éducation sans délai représentent notre volonté de donner de l’espoir et une réelle possibilité de changement. En collaboration avec ses partenaires, Éducation sans délai appelle les donateurs des secteurs public et privé à le rejoindre, à combler d’urgence le déficit de financement de 117 millions de dollars É.-U. et à mener à bien ses investissements à effet catalyseur dans ces trois programmes communs pour le Burkina Faso, le Mali et le Niger. Nous devons agir maintenant. »

Burkina Faso

Au Burkina Faso, plus de 2,6 millions d’enfants et de jeunes ne sont pas scolarisés, et 1,7 million d’élèves supplémentaires risquent d’abandonner l’école. Alors que le gouvernement a accompli des progrès impressionnants grâce à l’amélioration de son système éducatif, la pauvreté, l’absence de documents, le travail des enfants, les handicaps, les grossesses et mariages précoces ainsi que d’autres facteurs poussent de nombreux enfants à quitter l’école. Ainsi, seul un enfant sur dix poursuit ses études secondaires.

Avec une subvention à effet catalyseur à hauteur de 11,1 millions de dollars É.-U., le programme pluriannuel de résilience du Burkina Faso cherche à mobiliser 48 millions de dollars É.-U. de financement supplémentaire. Entièrement financé, le programme touchera 913 000 filles et garçons, dont 60 % de filles. Le programme cible particulièrement les enfants déplacés, réfugiés et retournés, les enfants en situation de handicap ainsi que les enfants actuellement non scolarisés.  Le financement initial d’Éducation sans délai ciblera directement 144 000 élèves en situation vulnérable grâce à un ensemble complet d’interventions. Il sera mis en œuvre par le Fonds des Nations Unies pour l’enfance (6,1 millions de dollars É.-U.) et Enfants du Monde (5 millions de dollars É.-U.).

« Au Burkina Faso, le secteur de l’éducation subit les effets négatifs de la crise de la COVID-19 ainsi que de la crise sécuritaire actuelle. Cette dernière a entraîné la fermeture de plus de 2 300 écoles et le déplacement massif de plus d’un million de personnes, tandis que la pandémie de COVID-19 a provoqué la fermeture de toutes les écoles du pays pendant plusieurs mois. Je saisis donc cette occasion pour exprimer ma reconnaissance envers Éducation sans délai pour son appui indéfectible envers nos efforts pour soutenir l’éducation en situation d’urgence », a déclaré S.E. M. Stanislas Ouaro, ministre de l’Éducation nationale et de l’Alphabétisation du Burkina Faso.

Mali

Le Mali fait face à une grave crise humanitaire et sécuritaire. Les effets combinés du conflit et de l’insécurité aux multiples aspects ainsi que les inondations à répétition accentuent les vulnérabilités préexistantes et empêchent un accès durable aux possibilités d’éducation. Les attaques aveugles de groupes armés contre les civils, la violence à l’égard des femmes et des filles ainsi que les attaques contre les institutions publiques, y compris les écoles et les établissements de santé, sont courantes. Elles entraînent des déplacements de populations dans une région déjà confrontée aux conséquences des changements climatiques, à l’extrême pauvreté, à l’absence de débouchés économiques et à la pénurie des services de base. L’arrivée de la COVID-19 a aggravé la situation. À l’heure actuelle, environ 3,8 millions de filles et de garçons sont inscrits dans une école primaire ou secondaire au Mali, ce qui signifie que jusqu’à 50 % des enfants ne sont pas scolarisés.

Avec 11,1 millions de dollars É.-U. de financement initial de la part d’Éducation sans délai, le programme pluriannuel de résilience au Mali cherche à mobiliser 30,6 millions de dollars É.-U. de financement supplémentaire. Entièrement financé, le programme, qui s’étend sur trois ans, touchera 370 000 enfants, dont 60 % de filles et 10 % d’enfants en situation de handicap. La subvention à effet catalyseur d’Éducation sans délai sera mise en œuvre par EducCo (2,7 millions de dollars É.-U.), Plan International (2,7 millions de dollars É.-U.), Save the Children (3,2 millions de dollars É.-U.) et le Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (2,5 millions de dollars É.-U.). L’investissement permettra non seulement aux partenaires d’atteindre 90 000 enfants et jeunes, mais aussi de soutenir des interventions dans les régions prioritaires en mettant l’accent sur les régions de Mopti et de Menaka, qui présentent les niveaux de vulnérabilité les plus élevés. Les bénéficiaires comprennent les enfants et les jeunes réfugiés, retournés, déplacés à l’intérieur de leur pays et vivant dans des communautés d’accueil.

« Le Gouvernement du Mali exprime sa gratitude à l’égard d’Éducation sans délai pour son financement de 11,1 millions de dollars des États-Unis en vue de maintenir une éducation de qualité pour les enfants touchés par des crises et les jeunes affectés par la fermeture des écoles dans les zones d’urgence du pays, par le biais de nombreuses possibilités d’apprentissage », a déclaré M. Kinane Ag Gadeda, Secrétaire général du Ministère de l’éducation nationale du Mali.

Niger

Le système éducatif du Niger est confronté à de nombreux défis majeurs. En 2019, seuls 13 % des élèves du préscolaire, 64 % du primaire, 29 % du secondaire inférieur et 10 % du secondaire supérieur étaient scolarisés. L’investissement cible activement les régions touchées par la crise où ces taux sont tous inférieurs à la moyenne nationale. La crise humanitaire a encore renforcé les pressions sur le système éducatif. Les changements climatiques entraînent une insécurité alimentaire chronique et des déplacements dus à la sécheresse. Ces deux facteurs provoquent des conflits et des migrations transfrontalières qui exercent des pressions importantes sur le système éducatif.

Avec un financement initial à hauteur de 11,1 millions de dollars É.-U. de la part d’Éducation sans délai, l’intervention globale pluriannuelle vise à mobiliser 39,2 millions de dollars É.-U. supplémentaires pour toucher un total de 275 000 enfants. Les subventions à effet catalyseur d’Éducation sans délai visent 61 000 filles et garçons, y compris les adolescents des régions de Tillaberi et de Tahoua. Mis en œuvre par le Programme alimentaire mondial (4,4 millions de dollars É.-U.), Plan International (3,3 millions de dollars É.-U.) et World Vision International (3,3 millions de dollars É.-U.), les fonds d’Éducation sans délai bénéficieront à 19 300 réfugiés, à 2 600 enfants et adolescents en situation de handicap, et à plus de 30 000 filles et adolescentes.

« Je profite de cette occasion pour réaffirmer notre gratitude et notre reconnaissance envers Éducation sans délai pour avoir approuvé le programme pluriannuel de résilience visant à soutenir les efforts du gouvernement du Niger au cours des trois prochaines années en vue d’aider les enfants vulnérables dans les zones du pays touchées par des crises. J’appelle tous les partenaires du Niger à soutenir ce programme en comblant le déficit de financement afin que la crise touchant le secteur éducatif ne soit pas oubliée parmi les crises qui sévissent dans le pays », a affirmé Yahouza Sadissou, Ministre de coordination pour les ministères en charge de l’éducation au Niger.

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT APPROVES US$33.3 MILLION FOR BURKINA FASO, MALI AND NIGER IN THE CENTRAL SAHEL

Education Cannot Wait (ECW) today announced US$33.3 million in catalytic investment grants in response to the health and humanitarian crisis in the Central Sahel in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. These investments result in a total of US$103 million of ECW investments approved within the last month for refugee, forcibly displaced, host-community and other vulnerable girls and boys in these countries, as well as crisis-affected children and youth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

In response to escalating crises in the Central Sahel, these new programmes will reach 300,000 children and youth impacted by displacement, conflict and COVID-19

Available in French.

4 January 2021, New York – Education Cannot Wait (ECW) today announced US$33.3 million in catalytic investment grants in response to the health and humanitarian crisis in the Central Sahel in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. These investments result in a total of US$103 million of ECW investments approved within the last month for refugee, forcibly displaced, host-community and other vulnerable girls and boys in these countries, as well as crisis-affected children and youth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

The new multi-year resilience programmes in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger bring together humanitarian and development actors to jointly deliver inclusive, quality education to children and youth left furthest behind in the Central Sahel. These joint programmes will run for three years, with the goal of leveraging an additional US$117 million in co-financing from national and global partners, the private sector and philanthropic foundations.

The humanitarian situation is worsening in the Central Sahel as a result of multiple crises. The horrific attacks by non-state armed groups against civilians in the villages of Tchoma Bangou and Zaroumadareye in Niger on 2 January which killed at least 100 people, including 17 children (according to UNICEF), and wounded and displaced scores of others is just the latest example of how violence in the region is threatening the future of an entire generation. Civilians, including children – and education – must always be protected against armed attacks. ECW’s investments support the implementation of the Safe Schools Declaration to promote the safety of girls and boys and protect students, teachers and schools from the worst effects of armed conflict.

Girls are disproportionately impacted by these protracted crises and thus Education Cannot Wait investments prioritize girls’ education from pre-school through to secondary levels by ensuring that 60 per cent of the beneficiaries across the three countries are female. Education Cannot Wait also places specific emphasis on reaching those left furthest behind in protracted crises contexts, hence children and adolescents with disabilities comprise ten per cent of those to be reached with this multi-year funding.

“Millions of girls and boys in the Central Sahel live on the frontlines of armed conflicts, hunger, forced displacement and poverty. COVID-19 and a rise in climate-change induced disasters exacerbate the challenges they already face in realizing their right to education. For them, education represents their only hope. However, more financial resources are needed to fully fund these carefully designed and crisis-sensitive joint programmes, which will transform education in the Central Sahel – provided financing is made available,” said The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of the ECW High-Level Steering Group.

The programmes build upon the results of Education Cannot Wait’s US$30 million in first emergency investments across the three countries which were initiated in 2019. These first emergency responses are currently reaching over quarter of a million girls and boys affected by forced displacements across the region.

“Children, youth and their teachers are disempowered by the lack of an inclusive quality education and a safe learning environment as they are also targeted in violent attacks,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, the global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises. “I have met them. I have seen both the despair and the resilience of young adolescent girls demanding their right to education and appealing for protection from early marriage. We can change all that and ECW’s investments represent our resolve to deliver hope and a real opportunity for change. Together with our partners, Education Cannot Wait calls on public and private sector donors to join us and urgently close the US$117 million funding gap and complete ECW’s catalytic investments in these three joint programmes, for Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. We have to act and we have to act now.”

Burkina Faso

More than 2.6 million children and youth are out of school in Burkina Faso, with another 1.7 million students at risk of dropping out of school. While the government has made impressive strides in improving its education system, poverty, a lack of documentation, child labour, disabilities, early pregnancies and marriages, and other factors push many children out of school, with just 1 out of 10 continuing on to secondary education.

With a US$11.1 million catalytic grant, the Burkina Faso multi-year resilience programme seeks to mobilize US$48 million in additional funds. Fully funded, the programme will reach 913,000 girls and boys, 60 per cent of whom are girls. The programme specifically targets displaced, refugee and returnee children, children with disabilities and children currently out of school.  The ECW seed funding will directly target 144,000 learners in vulnerable situations with a comprehensive package of interventions and will be implemented by UNICEF (US$6.1 million) and Enfants Du Monde (US$5 million).

“In Burkina Faso, the education sector is suffering the negative effects of both the ongoing security and COVID-19 crises. The security crisis resulted in the closure of more than 2,300 schools and a massive displacement of more than one million people. The COVID-19 pandemic further resulted in the closure of all schools in Burkina Faso for several months. I therefore take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Education Cannot Wait for their unwavering support in our efforts to support education in emergencies,” said H.E. Mr. Stanislas Ouaro, Minister of National Education and Literacy for Burkina-Faso.

Mali

Mali faces a serious humanitarian and security crisis. The combined effects of conflict and multi-faceted insecurity and a repetitive cycle of flooding accentuate pre-existing vulnerabilities and prevent sustained access to educational opportunities. Indiscriminate attacks by armed groups against civilians, violence against girls and women, and attacks on state institutions, including schools and health facilities, are common. They result in displacements of populations in a region that is already facing the impacts of climate change, extreme poverty, a lack of economic opportunities and scarcity of basic services. This situation has worsened with the arrival of COVID-19. Currently, approximately 3.8 million girls and boys are enrolled in primary, lower secondary and upper secondary schools across Mali. These numbers suggest that as many as 50 per cent of children are out of school.

With US$11.1 million in seed funding from ECW, the multi-year resilience programme in Mali seeks to mobilize US$30.6 million in additional funding. Fully funded, the three-year programme will reach 370,000 girls and boys, 60 per cent of whom are girls and 10 per cent of whom are children with disabilities. The ECW catalytic grant will be implemented by EducCo (US$2.7 million), Plan International (US$2.7 million), Save the Children (US$3.2 million) and UNHCR (US$2.5 million). The investment will enable partners to reach 90,000 children and youth and support interventions in the priority regions with an emphasis on the regions of Mopti and Menaka with the highest levels of vulnerability. Beneficiaries include refugees, returnees, internally displaced and host community children and youth.

“The Government of Mali expresses its appreciation for Education Cannot Wait’s funding of $11.1 million to support the continued quality education of crisis-affected children and youth impacted by school closures in emergency areas of the country by providing them with diverse learning opportunities,” said Mr. Kinane Ag Gadeda, Secretary-General of the Ministry of National Education for Mali.

Niger

The education system in Niger faces many major challenges. In 2019 just 13 per cent of pre-school, 64 per cent in primary, 29 per cent in lower secondary and 10 per cent upper secondary students were enrolled in school. The investment actively targets crisis-affected regions where these rates are all below the national average. The humanitarian crisis has further exacerbated pressures on the education system. Climate change spurs chronic food insecurity and displacement due to drought. This triggers conflict and cross-border migration, placing significant pressures on the education system.

With US$11.1 million in seed funding from ECW, the overall multi-year response seeks to mobilize an additional US$39.2 million to reach a total of 275,000 children. ECW catalytic grants target 61,000 girls and boys, including adolescents in the Tahoua and Tillaberi regions. Implemented by World Food Programme (US$4.4 million), Plan International (US$3.3 million) and World Vision International (US$3.3 million), ECW funds will reach 19,300 refugees, 2,600 children and adolescents with disabilities and more than 30,000 girls and adolescent girls.

“I take this opportunity to reaffirm our gratitude and appreciation to ECW for approving the multi-year resilience programme to support the Niger government’s efforts over the next three years to help vulnerable children in crisis-affected areas in the country. I appeal to all of Niger’s partners to support this programme by closing the funding gap to ensure that education is not forgotten among the crises affecting Niger,” said Yahouza Sadissou, Coordinating Minister of the Ministries responsible for Education in Niger.

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT APPROVES US$22.2 MILLION FOR MULTI-YEAR RESILIENCE PROGRAMME IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

Responding to the intensifying humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) today announced US$22.2 million in catalytic investment grants to accelerate the nation’s education in emergency response. The initial programme will run for three years, with the goal of leveraging an additional US$45.3 million in co-financing from national and global partners, the private sector and philanthropic foundations to reach over 200,000 children and youth.

In response to large-scale, complex and protracted crises, the three year programme aims to reach over 200,000 internally displaced, returnee and refugee girls and boys – as well as host community children and youth – with safe and equitable quality education.

18 December 2020, New York – Responding to the intensifying humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) today announced US$22.2 million in catalytic investment grants to accelerate the nation’s education in emergency response. The initial programme will run for three years, with the goal of leveraging an additional US$45.3 million in co-financing from national and global partners, the private sector and philanthropic foundations to reach over 200,000 children and youth.

“Education is a top priority for the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, contributing to sustainable development and peace in the country,” said Jean-Marie Mangobe Bomungo, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Primary, Secondary and Technical Education. “Refugee, internally displaced and host community children must be able to benefit from education like all children. Thanks to Education Cannot Wait funding, this new multi-year resilience programme will help us to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and leave no one behind, especially as we work to guarantee inclusive, quality education for every girl and boy in the country.”

“Millions of children and youth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are being left behind. Facing the compounding risks of violence, conflict, food insecurity, natural disasters – as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and multiple health crises over the years including cholera and ebola – girls and boys are at high risk of dropping out of school permanently, being forcefully recruited into armed and militant groups, or being pushed out of school to join the workforce. For girls, the situation is even worse. They risk all forms of gender-based violence, including sexual exploitation, forced child marriage and early pregnancy and various forms of abuse,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait. “Working together with the speed of humanitarians and the quality of development in crisis contexts, this new joint programme helps bridge the humanitarian-development-peace nexus and aims to address the current needs, while also building long-term solutions to keep Democratic Republic of the Congo’s most crisis-affected children and youth in school with a real opportunity for learning. Their education cannot wait. Now is the time for hope.”

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a severe impact on education in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Following the closure of schools as a preventive measure, around 27 million students have had their schooling interrupted. This is in addition to an estimated 15 to 23 million school-aged children and adolescents who were out of school before the COVID-19 crisis. The government is stepping up its response, with recent initiatives to support free primary education allowing more children the opportunity to attend school, but this has also caused overcrowded classrooms and is depleting resources.

Attacks on schools and recruitment into armed groups are on the rise. Recruitment into armed groups doubled from the previous year in 2017, with over 1,000 verified cases. Schools are being destroyed during armed conflicts and are being occupied by armed groups or displaced persons. In crisis-affected Tanganyika, Ituri and Kasai Central provinces, one out of every four children and youth are out of school. Across the country, teachers are hard to retain and receive low pay, and only 5 per cent of children have access to pre-school education, with girls receiving more access than boys.

This new, multi-year education programme – implemented by UNICEF in coordination with the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, national and international partners, and a broad coalition of partners on the ground – the programme will improve equitable access to inclusive learning environments in the provinces of Tanganyika, Ituri and Kasaï Central.

Fully funded, the programme will reach over 200,000 internally displaced, returnee and deported refugee girls and boys – as well as host community children and youth. Out of this total, Education Cannot Wait seed funding will focus on Tanganyika province to reach 68,000 children and adolescents aged 5–17 years, 52 per cent of whom are girls. These include children from internally displaced, returnee and refugee populations and children with disabilities (15 per cent of the total). Teachers and school communities, indigenous people, former child soldiers, victims of gender-based violence, unaccompanied children, children from host communities, and other vulnerable children and adolescents are also targeted through the intervention.

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Notes to editors:
Programme outputs:

  • The programme focuses on increasing access to safe and quality education for all children and adolescents with a focus on the most vulnerable, including those with disabilities. This will be partially accomplished through the construction or rehabilitation, and equipping of learning spaces for formal (pre-primary, primary and secondary) and non-formal education (remedial education and vocational training centres). The school environment will be adapted to ensure equity of access and to meet local safety, hygiene and sanitation standards.
  • To address high numbers of out-of-school children, and to prevent further dropouts, particularly during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, the programme will address the underlying issues that lead to drop-out. Collaboration between the Education Cluster and the government together with the Health, Nutrition and Child Protection Cluster will develop a multi-sectoral approach to nutrition and wellbeing. To address issues of food security, learners will be provided school meals and will also be taught to grow gardens and to learn about nutrition and ecology.
  • The programme will ensure that children and adolescents have access to a holistic package of education that is relevant to their academic, physical and socio-emotional development.
  • The programme will work with the local, provincial and national government to improve key capacities for the provision of quality and relevant learning. It will also ensure the systems are in place that monitor the quality of learning, respond to crisis and improve equity of access to education.
  • The programme will address the significant protection risks faced by children in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in particular for children affected by armed conflict. This starts with creating a safe and protective learning environment. A safe school approach will be developed and adapted in accordance with the joint education needs assessments results and through joint planning with the Child Protection Cluster.
  • The programme will address gender equity and inclusion through direct action and by creating a supportive environment that establishes space for greater inclusiveness in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the long term. In line with the programmatic approach, the programme will address immediate barriers to learning, particularly for girls, while also strengthening systems to ensure that these barriers are reduced indefinitely.

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT APPROVES US$20.1 MILLION FOR MULTI-YEAR RESILIENCE PROGRAMME IN NIGERIA

In response to the armed conflict and escalating humanitarian crisis in northeast Nigeria that has left over 1 million girls and boys in need of educational support, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) today announced US$20.1 million in catalytic investment grants to accelerate the response to the protracted crisis.

Three-year education programme for the protracted crisis in northeast Nigeria aims to reach 2.9 million children and youth in response to armed conflict and ongoing humanitarian needs

18 December 2020, New York – In response to the armed conflict and escalating humanitarian crisis in northeast Nigeria that has left over 1 million girls and boys in need of educational support, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) today announced US$20.1 million in catalytic investment grants to accelerate the response to the protracted crisis.

The initial programme will run for three years, with the goal of leveraging an additional US$98.7 million in co-financing from national and global partners, the private sector and philanthropic foundations to reach over 2.9 million children and youth.

“Education Cannot Wait has been supporting the education in emergencies response in Nigeria since 2018 through the First Emergency Response intervention. During the COVID-19 pandemic, ECW was the first donor to offer support to conflict-affected North East Nigeria. Once more, ECW is supporting Nigeria in the advancement of education in emergencies through the multi-year resilience programme. This is highly commendable, and a much appreciated endeavor,” said Dr. Shettima Bukar Kullima, Executive Chairman, Borno State Universal Basic Education Board Nigeria.

“Children and teachers are being targeted in violent attacks. Killings, rape and other forms of sexual violence, abduction and child recruitment are putting girls and boys at extreme risk. Education is not only every child’s right, but the protection it provides is also all too often life-saving,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait. “This new education in emergency response, which delivers across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, helps sow the seeds of peace and tolerance, while also ensuring girls and boys have access to safe and protective learning environments.”

“Nigeria is making progress in addressing the protracted crisis in the northeast of the country, but with limited resources and continued violence, progress has been uneven,” said Sherif. “There are still approximately 1 million children, including 583,000 girls, and 18,000 education personnel that are in rapid need of support to either resume or sustain education in northeast Nigeria. I call on public and private sector donors to urgently help close the $98.7 million funding gap for this crucial programme. There is no time to lose.”

The number of children and youth with chronic needs in education remains high across the three states targeted through the Education Cannot Wait investment. Estimates indicate that nearly 60 per cent of primary school-age children and adolescents are not attending school, with girls disproportionally affected. Despite a decrease in the number of security incidents targeting education structures since 2017, the risk of violent attacks, abduction, and kidnappings remains a constant threat.

Poverty remains one of the greatest barriers to educational access. Parents simply cannot afford to send their children to school. COVID-19 has made matters even worse. Classrooms often lack school furniture and water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, teachers are poorly paid, and schools and learning centres often lack high-quality learning materials.

Implementing in partnership with the Government of Nigeria by UNICEF, Save the Children, and a consortium between the Norwegian Refugee Council and Street Child, the overall multi-year resilience programme targets 2.9 million children and adolescents from 2021 to 2023. Half of the targeted beneficiaries are displaced children and youth, while the other half live in host communities that are affected by conflict.

The programme builds on the success of the Education Cannot Wait funded ‘first emergency response’ in northeast Nigeria that reached 290,000 children.  Education Cannot Wait seed funding will initiate the implementation of the programme by focusing on reaching girls and boys in the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. In total, over 482,000 girls and boys will access learning opportunities of whom over 60% are girls and adolescent girls. The programme also targets 48,000 girls and boys in early learning programmes, 380,000 at primary level and some 50,000 at the secondary level, in both formal and non-formal education settings.

Among its various outputs, the programme will build and renovate classrooms and learning spaces, support stipends for teachers and increase continuity by working with local partners to keep children and youth in school. It will also ensure educators have the training and tools they need to build gender-responsive learning plans, and safe and protective learning environments that respond to the specific needs of girls, children with disabilities and crisis-affected children in need of psychosocial support.

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Notes to editors:
Programme outputs:

  • Continued delivery of strong education in emergencies programming: The programme will continue the delivery of holistic education in emergencies programming for conflict-affected children, adolescents and families in Northeast Nigeria. Initiatives to strengthen access, equity and quality all remain a primary focus.
  • Mainstreaming of learners into formal education: Many learners remain in temporary learning spaces or alternative education programmes. As the situation stabilises, the formal education system will need to increase its capacity to ensure the delivery of quality, equitable education to all children currently in informal programmes. Further efforts will need to promote the flexibility and adaptability of the formal education system to meet the needs of learners, especially those affected by conflict.
  • Addressing key crosscutting issues, with a special focus on gender, disability and mental health and psychosocial support: Myriad crosscutting issues have also been incorporated into this programme, with a key focus on gender, disability, inclusion and vulnerability. Meeting the needs of those traditionally not included within education systems comprises a primary focus of this programme. Moreover, the programme aims to mainstream protection and mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services for learners and teachers as they access schools.
  • Strengthening educator and school leader capacities and motivation: Local educators and school leaders continue to need substantial support with regards to their capacity and motivation to deliver quality, equitable, and inclusive education. As learners are mainstreamed into formal education programmes, the programme will ensure these educators have the required skills to deliver effective education well into the future. A key focus of this programme is addressing the MHPSS needs of the teachers themselves – their own psychosocial needs must be considered and addressed if they are able to support those of their students,
  • Strengthening local leadership to take full ownership of delivery and transitions to formal education: Local stakeholders in government (at the national, state and local government levels), as well as in National NGOs, are expected to take on increasing leadership and responsibility for the education in emergencies response.

NEW INEE REFERENCE GROUP TO DRIVE REFORMS AND SET GLOBAL STANDARDS FOR EIE DATA

By ECW, FHI 360, INEE, NORRAG, and UIS

Editor’s note: This post is cross-published by ECW, FHI 360, INEE, NORRAG, and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.

Last week INEE, ECW, and the UIS launched a new Reference Group on education in emergencies (EiE) data aimed at tackling some of the sectoral challenges in EiE data collection, storage, sharing, and use. This new group fulfills part of the 2019 EiE Data Summit Action Agenda by enabling data experts from a range of organisations to collaborate on systemic EiE data issues that exist within and between their organisations.

In 2019 in Geneva, EiE data experts from almost 50 organisations participated in the EiE Data Summit to discuss and agree on ways forward on the following challenge: how, with limited resources and a growing number of crises, the EiE sector could collect more meaningful data and make new and existing data more accessible. More and better data improves coordination, strengthens funding appeals, and informs monitoring and evaluation. Many of the challenges discussed – lack of incentives to share data, lack of standardised indicator definitions and methodologies, exclusion of marginalised groups – were identified as collective action issues that could not be solved by single institutions but instead require collaboration between a range of actors. The Summit’s Action Agenda therefore recommended the creation of an expert group to address some of these core issues.

Since then, the INEE Data and Evidence Collaborative – co-chaired by FHI 360 and NORRAG – consulted a range of actors on how best to constitute this group before inviting ECW and the UIS to co-chair the INEE-convened group for the first year. Leadership from ECW and the UIS brings the best of both emergency and development context expertise to address increasingly prominent nexus issues.

Although there are a broad range of current education data initiatives globally, the consultation phase identified a specific gap in emergency contexts. This group does not intend to duplicate existing work but builds on and connects relevant initiatives within the group. As such, this group will replace a planned sub-group on emergency contexts for UNESCO’s Technical Cooperation Group on the Indicators for SDG 4.

The first meeting of the EiE Data Reference Group was held on December 10th, 2020. The group has been initially formed for one year, at which point it will review progress before agreeing on new chairs and strategic priorities for the subsequent year. The group currently includes representatives from UN agencies, civil society, donors, Ministries of Education, universities, and foundations, and will work to include further representation from diverse national and regional stakeholders. This first session presented a problem analysis and proposed four core domains for the Reference Group to address (see presentation here):

Domain

Intended change

Global data reporting & advocacy

Increased use of EiE data in global advocacy and SDG4 reporting

Data sharing

Increased EiE data accessibility

Data production, analysis, & use

Increased use of EiE data and evidence in policies and programs

Increased availability of relevant, quality and timely EiE data and evidence

Enabling environment

Strengthened environment for the production, sharing and use of quality EiE data and evidence

It is envisioned that the group address these domains through the following illustrative activities:

  1. Strategy development/review: this group would develop and agree on core challenges and develop an overarching Theory of Change (ToC). This would be an INEE-hosted online living document, regularly updated with new evidence and enabling members to engage with the group’s work as well as track progress against key milestones.
  2. Capacity development: this group could advocate for, or produce capacity development tools for, global or national level actors; and/or agree on EiE data competencies.
  3. Resource mobilisation: this group could advocate for resource mobilisation on key issues of EiE data. 
  4. Knowledge sharing/co-create solutions: a key function of the group would be linking the various ongoing EiE data initiatives and ensuring that information is shared and disseminated amongst members and to the broader INEE network.
  5. Norm setting/advocacy: this group could work towards and advocate for key issues related to EiE data e.g. the designation and use of a core list of EiE indicators and better positioning of crisis-related issues in the SDG4.

The Reference Group will meet next in January 2021 to agree on workstreams, identify co-chairs for these workstreams, and create work plans for the rest of the year. The full Reference Group will then meet quarterly to assess progress and ensure work is not siloed. We look forward to sharing updates as the group progresses and encourage you to reach out if you are interested in learning more or joining the group (sonja.anderson@inee.org / cstoff@unicef.org).

Authors’ Note: The views discussed in this piece are the opinion of the authors, and do not necessarily represent any organizations.

About the authors:

Sébastien Hine is an education and international development consultant who has previously worked on education in emergencies for the Global Education Monitoring Report, Save the Children, and the Overseas Development Institute.

Dr. Anne Smiley is Associate Director of Research and Evaluation at FHI 360 and leads the EiE data component of the USAID Middle East Education Research, Training and Support (MEERS) program, which is implemented by Social Impact and FHI 360.

Patrick Montjouridès is Senior Research Associate at NORRAG and a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge. He previously worked as Education Program Specialist at the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, Research Officer at UNESCO’s Global Monitoring Report and at the Institute for Research in the Sociology and Economics of Education (IREDU) of the University of Burgundy from which he holds an M.A. in Economics Education.

Sonja Anderson is the Evidence Coordinator at INEE where she manages INEE’s various evidence initiatives including the E-Cubed Research Fund, the INEE Data & Evidence Collaborative, and the INEE Learning Agenda consultation process to develop an online interactive EiE Evidence Platform. Sonja holds an M.Ed. from HGSE in International Education Policy.

Dr. Silvia Montoya became the UIS Director in 2015, bringing the Institute extensive experience in a wide range of national and international initiatives to improve the quality, management and use of education statistics, with a specific focus on learning assessments. Since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), she has taken a leadership role within the international education community by helping to build consensus around the standards, methodologies and indicators needed to measure progress towards Education 2030.

Dr. Christian Stoff is ECW’s Chief, Monitoring, Evaluation and Global Reporting, responsible for results monitoring, global reporting, evaluations as well as partnerships and capacity development initiatives to strengthen EiE data systems, including on financing, holistic learning assessments and EMIS. He previously worked with UNICEF, UNESCAP and NGOs in the areas of Education, Statistics and Social Policy in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, where he also lectured in Micro-Economics and Econometrics for several years.

REACHING THE MOST MARGINALISED: A HUMAN RIGHT TO INCLUSIVE EDUCATION

These words from SDG advocate Eddie Ndopu, shared during the ‘Disability Inclusive Education Forum – Reaching the most marginalised’ held on 4th December, 2020, ring true this Human Rights Day.

Yasmine, a refugee girl with disabilities living in Bangladesh, is receiving learning support through ECW-funded programmes. Photo UNICEF.

“We have an attitudinal problem and a failure of the public policy imagination to account for the full experiences that children with disabilities in vulnerable contexts embody…This is not a question of misfortune, it is a question of injustice…institutional and structural exclusion and oppression. If we are to really reach those furthest behind, we require a moment of reckoning that society has let down children with disabilities. And we have to act to change that …now.”

These words from SDG advocate Eddie Ndopu, shared during the ‘Disability Inclusive Education Forum – Reaching the most marginalised’ held on 4th December, 2020, ring true this Human Rights Day. Thirty-year-old Eddie, who is in discussions with aerospace companies to be the first person with a disability in space, reminded attendees of the Forum that human rights apply to all and that denying access to education and opportunity is an injustice. Particularly, for the billions of young people who have been forced out of schools due to COVID-19 and those already excluded like refugees, displaced students and children and young people with disabilities. The Forum, held the day after the United Nations annual International Day for Persons with Disabilities, issued a timely reminder that, in an unpredictable 2020, children and young people already facing the greatest barriers and highest risk of exclusion are being left further behind, without the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Hosted by the Government of Norway, Education Cannot Wait, the Global Campaign for Education, Special Olympics, International Disability Alliance (IDA), International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) and Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies, the Forum’s message was not lost on the large audience of self-advocates, organisations of persons with disabilities multilateral, UN and NGO organizations and government representatives who tuned in. Speakers included Norwegian Minister Dag Ulstein, Ecuador’s Vice Minister for Education, Isabela Maldonado, chair of the African Disability Forum and board member of the International Disability Alliance, Mr Alzouma Maiga Idriss; Alejandra Perez, Special Olympics Venezuela athlete; self-advocate Salma Eltabbakh from Egypt and more, echoed that the basic right to education, especially for children and young people with a disability, has been impacted as resources become more strained and they become harder to reach.

The Forum sought to encourage local, national, and international decision makers to ensure that inclusive education for learners with disabilities – particularly in humanitarian emergencies – should be a key focus of education systems, delivery and planning as well as COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. These children and young people, along their families and communities are in need of more support than ever, and countries must step up to the commitments made in Sustainable Development Goal 4 and in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities when it comes to making quality, equitable and inclusive education a reality for learners with disabilities. This resonates in a message from the IDA, which strongly believes that “building a truly inclusive education system is the only way to achieve SDG 4 for all children including those with disabilities.”

Ensuring a positive outlook, several co-hosts and speakers shared indications and descriptions of progress on this agenda. For example, Graham Lang, Chief of Education for Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the global fund for education in emergencies shared with the audience that, “ECW will increasingly focus efforts to ensure that our investments support the design and implementation of inclusive investments to support children and adolescents with disabilities with inclusive education opportunities, which is their right.” Eight distinct breakout sessions following the Forum were attended by a network of advocates, organizations of persons with disabilities, service delivery groups and policy experts also enabled attendees to understand more about what can be done, and how, to support learners with disabilities in emergency settings. From responsive planning, to better service delivery, to overcoming barriers including the impact of COVID-19, speakers like Sk Golam Mohiuddin, an Inclusive Education Facilitator from Bangladesh,  and William Obella, a Humanity and Inclusion project officer on behalf of the IDDC, shared a common dedication to thinking ‘outside the box’ and shared firsthand accounts of innovative service delivery and the challenges of education during COVID 19. For instance inclusive digital, radio and TV learning services and private tutors, which Vice Minister Maldonado shared have been rolled out in Ecuador.

Highlights of the Forum included the large number of passionate, determined and inspiring self-advocates and students with disabilities, who advocated for their basic right for an opportunity to reach their fullest potential and be counted.  Many urged organisations for people with disabilities, global education in emergency networks, governments and donors to ensure their needs are fully integrated and not an add-on or afterthought within education settings.  Moderator, Laila Atshan from Palestine, shared that, “separation is illusion” and that, as a blind child, she was only expected to reach 6th grade at best, but exceeded expectations by attending Harvard. Egyptian advocate Salma Eltabakkh talked about how to ensure all students “respect the culture of difference” in integrated schools, as she shared her own highschool experience, absent of inclusive assistance, ostracized by peers who didn’t understand Down syndrome and disregarded by potential employers before she discovered a career in supporting students with disabilities. Special Olympian Alejandra Perez gave advice for a better future through, “the union between people with disabilities and people without disabilities.” She said, “We in Special Olympics live this… Sport is a refuge. I speak for all of our athletes, not just myself. Through sport…we can learn more about inclusion.”

The co-hosting organisations are now working together to release recommendations that build on the outcomes of the Forum. These organizations will work with the Government of Norway and other organisers of the 2022 Global Disability Summit (GDS), following the UK’s hosting in 2018, to ensure that inclusive education – particularly in emergencies, is high on the agenda for action. The Government of Norway welcomed last week’s Forum and its outcomes and the Minister for Development, Dag Ulstein shared his vision for the Forum and the 2022 GDS: “Norway is committed to the inclusion agenda and is delighted to host the 2022 Global Disability Summit, because we want to ensure that political focus is not veering away from commitments made for the improvement of the human rights situation for persons with disabilities. We believe inclusive education is a vital part of achieving SDG4 and ensuring that no one is left behind, because everyone has a right to education, including children and youth living with disabilities. If they are not provided access to education, we will not achieve SDG4. That is why we co-hosted this Forum. We hope to work with the education community, civil society and disabled persons organisations and advocates over the coming months to plan collaboratively how inclusive education particularly in emergencies, will feature and be prioritized in the Summit.”

To the Forum’s co-hosts, it is unacceptable that 60 years since the adoption of the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education, children and young people with disabilites are still subject to systemic disrimination in many education systems around the world, moreso in emergency contexts. With this in mind, a sense of impatience, frustration and urgency to act became clear.  Nafisa Baboo, Global Campaign for Education board member reinforced that, “donors must hardwire disability in all education in emergency programmes, and make sure funding sufficiently provides for better identification, inclusive education teacher training, and the needed accommodations and supports for children with disabilities.” Echoing Eddie Ndopu, Canadian MP Mike Lake, joined by his son Jaden Lake, who is a Special Olympian with autism and an accomplished library assistant, shared that he was “tired of having the same conversations.” And that, “the world is better off when children with disabilities are included, in school, and reaching their full potential.”  The hope of all the organisations listed below, as we recover from a truly global pandemic and progress towards the 2022 Global Disability Summit, is that we don’t lose the momentum and collective will to achieve the human rights for every child through inclusive education.

The rich discussion at the forum led to the following, non-exhaustive, initial recommendations:

Community recommendations

  • Children, young people, their parents, families and caregivers, organisations of persons with disabilities and wider community should be meaningfully engaged in policy dialogues, planning and delivery from the outset. This is in line with Article 4.3 of the UNCRPD and other globally recognised standards such as the INEE Minimum Standards for Education: Preparedness, Response and Recovery – to ensure inclusive education systems.

Policy recommendations

  • All students with disabilities have a right to quality, equitable and inclusive education and should be taught together with students with and without disabilities in inclusive and accessible schools and classrooms.
  • A change in culture, policy and practice is needed, with dedicated efforts to:
    • identify children with disabilities who are out-of-school; remove barriers to inclusive education, transition from special/segregated settings towards truly inclusive learning settings and strengthen education systems to reach all learners.
  • Universal Design for Learning needs to be adopted in order to make education truly inclusive of all, including learners with disabilities. Curriculum reforms and support to adopt pedagogy and provide teacher training all foster Universal Design for Learning.
  • Diverse languages, including sign language and tactile sign language, and modes of communication need to be used throughout the system with teachers who are fluent.

Financing recommendations

  • Significant investments are needed to ensure accessibility of all classrooms, education facilities and teaching materials and access to assistive products and technology.
  • National and international governments and donors should prioritise increased and international investments in catalyzing system level changes to make education inclusive on one hand, and also invest in specific disability-related support services that are essential for learners with disabilities, on the other.

Thank you to the International Disability Alliance, International Disability and Development Consortium, Interagency Network for Education in Emergencies, Education Cannot Wait, The Government of Norway, Special Olympics, The Global Campaign for Education, Light for the World and the Jesuit Refugee Service for their support for this Press Release.

To find out more and get more involved: