FOUR NEW DONOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT ANNOUNCED THIS WEEK – INCLUDING AT GLOBAL CITIZEN’S ‘GLOBAL GOAL: UNITE FOR OUR FUTURE’ CONCERT

Finland and Verizon commit funds and highlight the importance of education in emergencies in building back better from the COVID-19 pandemic. Over US$10 million in funding to ECW announced this week, including new pledges from Canada and the United States.  

Finland and Verizon commit funds and highlight the importance of education in emergencies in building back better from the COVID-19 pandemic. Over US$10 million in funding to ECW announced this week, including new pledges from Canada and the United States. 

27 June 2020, New York – At today’s ‘Global Goal: Unite for our Future’ concert and summit events – presented by Global Citizen in partnership with the European Commission, top artists and global leaders – the Government of Finland and Verizon committed funding to Education Cannot Wait, joining others to highlight the importance of education in building resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the Global Goal events, the Government of Finland and Verizon announced new contributions to Education Cannot Wait, of €3 million and US$1 million respectively. Hosted by Dwayne Johnson, the ‘Unite for our Future’ concert features performances by Shakira, Coldplay, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Yemi Alade and many more.

With the commitments made at the Global Citizen events, a total of over US$10 million in funding to Education Cannot Wait (ECW) was announced this week alone. Just a few days earlier, both the Government of Canada announced CAD$5.5 million and the United States announced US$2.3 million in increased support to ECW, the global fund for education in emergencies.

The new funding will support efforts to provide crisis-affected children and youth – already impacted by armed conflicts, forced displacement, natural disasters and protracted crises and now doubly hit by COVID-19 – with the safety, hope and opportunity of an education. This crucial funding expands ECW’s education in emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic and supports its ongoing efforts to achieve universal and equitable education by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

During the Global Citizen livestream event, Finland’s Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Mr. Ville Skinnari, announced €3 million (approximately US$3.3 million) in new funding to ECW. This is the first commitment to ECW by the Government of Finland. “In Finland, we believe in education. Education for everyone, everywhere, including in emergencies. That’s why, this year, we pledge 3 million euros to Education Cannot Wait,” said Skinnari.

One of the world’s largest companies, US-based telecommunication provider Verizon, also committed US$1 million to Education Cannot Wait during the event, joining other private sector partners increasingly concerned with the need for education in emergencies. “One of the areas most transformed by COVID-19 is education. That’s why during this pandemic, Verizon has extended our long-term commitment to students and teachers. Today, we continue our support for education by supporting Education Cannot Wait,” said Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO, Verizon.

In addition to these announcements, earlier this week, the Government of Canada announced an additional CAD$5.5 million (approximately US$4 million) contribution to ECW to address the urgent educational needs of refugees and refugee-hosting communities, and adolescent girls in secondary school, including support to distance learning and teacher training. This contribution brings Canada’s overall support to ECW to over US$56 million. The United States also pledged US $2.3 million in additional funding to ECW, expanding its pledges and contributions to over US$60 million to date. The funding will be dedicated to scale-up the education in emergency response in Burkina Faso and will provide 43,390 children (including 26,034 girls) with formal and non-formal education in a safe, inclusive and quality environment.

“This continued and growing support from Canada, Finland, the United States and Verizon is profoundly appreciated and is, we hope, recognition that ECW is delivering results and making a real difference for children and youth left furthest behind,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait. “The ECW model seems to work where it is most needed and we call on public and private sector donors – and people everywhere – to join our movement and invest in education for children and young people in countries of crisis. This is their hope, their potential and their power to build back better. We need US$310 million in immediate support for Education Cannot Wait’s responses in countries of conflict, forced displacement and natural disasters. This funding is critical for both the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises. Together with Global Citizen, government donors, the private sector and UN and civil society partners, we are united in leaving no child behind as we build back better from this pandemic, leveraging the power of education to achieve SDG4.”

ECW’s education in emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic focuses on ensuring continuous access to education, including distance, online and radio learning; information campaigns, risk communications and community engagement in local languages, including psychosocial and mental health support; and, water and sanitation facility upgrades in schools and learning centers as a first line of defense. ECW has already reached over 3.4 million crisis-affected children and youth, and mobilized more than US$650 million since its inception just over three years ago.

Global Citizens shared over 1,000 messages with world leaders through a campaign to support education during COVID-19, including through Education Cannot Wait. “The fact that we are receiving support from Global Citizens around the world and from new and existing donors, further inspires our global movement to protect girls and boys from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and provide them with a brighter future through education,” said Sherif. “For many crisis-affected children and youth, education is more than just learning; it is often lifesaving. Let us unite for these children and for humanity’s future. We are grateful to all Global Citizens calling for support to Education Cannot Wait and to our strategic donors, UN and civil society partners who support the work we do every day.”

“Global Citizen knows the critical role education plays in ensuring COVID-19 and other emergencies don’t become a barrier to opportunities and education for children living in poverty around the world,” said Mick Sheldrick, Chief Global Policy and Government Affairs Officer of Global Citizen. “We are very proud to partner with Education Cannot Wait and commend the crucial contributions announced by Finland and Verizon through Global Goal: Unite for Our Future in support of ECW’s life-saving work for the most vulnerable children and youth around the world. We encourage more government and private sector leaders to support Education Cannot Wait to ensure no child is left behind.”

Additional Resources

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT INTERVIEWS AMINA J. MOHAMMED, DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS

Ms. Amina J. Mohammed is the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group.

Ms. Amina J. Mohammed is the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Mohammed served as Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria where she steered the country’s efforts on climate action and efforts to protect the natural environment. Ms. Mohammed first joined the United Nations in 2012 as Special Adviser to former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with the responsibility for post-2015 development planning. She led the process that resulted in global agreement around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Ms. Mohammed began her career working on the design of schools and clinics in Nigeria. She served as an advocate focused on increasing access to education and other social services, before moving into the public sector, where she rose to the position of adviser to three successive Presidents on poverty, public sector reform, and sustainable development. Ms. Mohammed has been conferred several honorary doctorates and has served as an adjunct professor, lecturing on international development. The recipient of various global awards, Ms Mohammed has served on numerous international advisory boards and panels. She is the mother of six children and has one grandchild.

ECW. As an inspirational global women leader who has dedicated your life to service, how do you see the progress and challenges we face in advancing gender equality and empowering the next generation of women leaders through girls and adolescent girls’ right to a quality education?

Amina J. Mohammed. I am inspired by the upcoming generation of women leaders who in the face of disasters, conflicts, and health emergencies prioritize their education and use their platforms to advocate for the right of all girls and young women to a quality education. Advancing gender equality and amplifying the voices of these young women needs to be at the center of all our work.

The great progress we have made globally to advance gender equality cannot be underscored enough – more girls are going to and staying in school than ever before and the number of out-of-school girls has dropped by 79 million in the last two decades. Yet, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 132 million girls were still out of school.

Girls – particularly adolescent girls – face significant barriers to a quality education in many contexts. There are risks of sexual harassment, exploitation, abuse and violence – both on the way to and at school. Many girls have competing demands on their time due to care and household responsibilities. Many families face the difficult choice of which of their children will get an education due to financial constraints – and many times, boys are chosen over girls. Girls’ education is particularly under threat in emergencies and for children on the move and we need to continue to empower this next generation of women leaders through a quality education.

All these issues have been exacerbated by COVID-19. Lockdowns and the socio-economic crisis have brought dramatic increases in domestic violence, including for girls and adolescent girls. Furthermore, rates of child marriages have increased, and it is not clear what effects that would have if schools remain closed for a long period.

To tackle the challenges exacerbated by the current pandemic, we need strengthened efforts to not only ensure gender equality dimensions are prioritized in all our work, but also apply targeted measures to ensure girls, and the most vulnerable, do not bear the heaviest burden and are protected.

ECW. There is a global education crisis in the world, and it is increasingly clear that education, or Sustainable Development Goal 4, is foundational to realising the full spectrum of the Sustainable Development Goals. How do you see the interrelation and why is it so important to connect those dots in advancing all of the Sustainable Development Goals?

Amina J. Mohammed. Education is a human right and is central for building sustainable and resilient societies, as well as for achieving personal aspirations and all the other Sustainable Development Goals. There is no doubt that equipping children and youth with relevant knowledge and skills has a catalytic impact on eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities, improving health, driving economic growth and achieving gender equality.

Without investing in youth to create an enabling environment for them to learn and acquire skills for decent work, sustainability, climate change awareness and global citizenship, we will not deliver on our promise for the future we want.

Without ensuring quality and inclusive education for all, we will not be able to advance our efforts for more peaceful and inclusive societies and for promoting respect for human rights. Yet, we have seen warning signs that on current trends, the world is not on track to achieve the SDG4 goal and targets.

Before COVID-19, more than 260 million children, adolescents and youth were out of school. while more than 617 million were not learning, achieving only minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics. Now COVID-19 has exacerbated the global education crisis with more than 1.5 billion children who face disrupted education while too many children are still at risk of not returning to school, especially those most marginalized – including girls, children with disabilities, and children on the move. Violence against children is increasing. COVID-19 is not just a health crisis – it is a human crisis and an education crisis.

Indeed, a quality education and lifelong learning is foundational to all other aspects of human development and sustainable development. The foundations for learning start in the womb – maternal health and nutrition is vital for brain development. We know that the first 1,000 days of a child’s life are critical and set the stage for learning throughout the lifecycle. We know that children who experience stunting also experience difficulties with learning. When children do not have access to clean water and sanitation or life-saving vaccines for preventable diseases, their lives are at risk. Without access to quality and relevant education, young people cannot build the skills needed to succeed in life and work, and consequently they and their communities suffer.

We need to make sure that all children and youth have an equal chance – girls and boys, children and youth with disabilities, children and youth from marginalized communities. In order to achieve real progress on any of the SDGs, our approaches need to put education at the center.

ECW. The UN General Assembly President recently stressed the need to continue to invest in education during the current COVID-19 crisis and pointed out that many governments in the South do not have the infrastructure to provide adequate remote learning through technology, and this risks deepening the already existing global education divide. How do we translate global cooperation into a concrete bridge that reduces the divides, starting with financing, economic cooperation, and socio-economic development and equity?

Amina J. Mohammed. The COVID-19 crisis in combination with the existing global digital divide has posed considerable challenges for addressing the learning crisis. The pandemic has presented an additional risk of deepening the global education divide and losing the gains that have been made so far. With nearly three quarters of learners being affected by the school closures globally, many countries are facing unprecedented economic challenges including how they can ensure the equity and inclusion of their education systems. Reliance on new technologies for the provision of education during the crisis has highlighted the importance of investing more into making all education systems more resilient, open, inclusive and flexible.

The lack of access to technological readiness and connectivity in some developing countries, but also the overall level of their preparedness to adapt the curricula, prepare learners, educators and families, as well ensure efficient assessment and certification processes, would need to be addressed at scale if we are to learn from the COVID-19 crisis.

To address this complex situation, we all need to work together in partnership to ensure that all children and youth continue to learn, maintaining a focus on the those most in need.

The technology to reach everyone everywhere is available. It’s up to all of us to make sure that at all levels we can scale up these solutions empowering teachers to meet every child and young person’s learning needs in every context. Of course, this should be complemented with improving education systems’ preparedness to face global challenges while advancing on the achievement of the sustainable development for all.

ECW. The UN Secretary-General’s Reform places strong emphasis on ‘The New Way of Working,’ the ‘humanitarian-development coherence’ and the principles of ‘less bureaucracy and more accountability.’ These approaches and principles are also embedded in the strategy and work of Education Cannot Wait (ECW), which is hosted by the UN (UNICEF). Having followed ECW’s work closely since its inception, how do you see ECW contributing to UN reform and the SDGs, especially as we accelerate during the Decade of Action, through concrete measures and results.

Amina J. Mohammed. Despite progress on education provision in crisis-affected situations, the persisting barriers to education have worsened due to the pandemic. ECW’s response during COVID-19 has exemplified the ways in which it implements the new way of working with humanitarian speed and development depth. During the unfolding of the COVID-19 pandemic, ECW and partners mobilized to provide education support at record speed. The quick release and flexibility of funding allowed UN country teams to respond quickly and to implement education interventions in the ways most appropriate for each context.

At the onset of COVID-19, utilizing the in-country education coordination mechanisms, a total of US$23 million was rapidly disbursed to 55 grantees across 26 countries within a period of 9 days between the receipt of initial applications and the first disbursements of funds.  This collaborative approach ensures transparency, and promotes coordinated response and efficiency and effectiveness within the sector.

As an example, in Cameroon, the COVID-19 education response was developed in alignment with the national COVID-19 response strategy in education in multi-stakeholder collaboration with five Ministries of Education. UNESCO and UNICEF received the ECW first emergency response funds for an innovative distance learning platform and the safe protocol for both formal and non-formal education settings. The US$1.5 million allocation in Cameroon for the COVID-19 response will ensure access and continuity of children’s learning, reaching 3.9 million children, of whom 2.2 million are girls, as well as 8,600 teachers, 60 per cent of whom are women.

ECW. With COVID-19, we have all had to adjust and reassess how we operate in the current environment to continue to deliver on the SDGs and will also need to look ahead as this crisis will stay with us for some time. What do you see as the priorities, both in terms of development sectors and strategic approach in mitigating the impact of the global COVID-19 crisis and the people we serve, especially those left furthest behind, such as low-income countries affected by conflict and refugee-hosting countries?

Amina J. Mohammed. Our first and foremost priority really is to address the human face of this global crisis and do it with a global response, which really does need solidarity. Therefore, in the UN, we see the emergency response as threefold. The health response in suppressing transmission of the virus. The Humanitarian response which we have to keep fueling to ensure people are safe in this crisis situation; and an urgent socio-economic response to stem the impact of the pandemic, by helping Governments and people act in a way that builds a better and greener future.

A UN socio-economic response framework was developed to protect the needs and rights of people living under the duress of the pandemic, with particular focus on the most vulnerable countries, groups, and people who risk being left behind.

The five streams of work that constitute this framework include: 1. ensuring that essential health services are still available and protecting health systems; 2. helping people cope with adversity, through social protection and basic services; 3. protecting jobs, supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, and informal sector workers through economic response and recovery programmes; 4. guiding the necessary surge in fiscal and financial stimulus to make macroeconomic policies work for the most vulnerable and strengthening multilateral and regional responses; and 5. promoting social cohesion and investing in community-led resilience and response systems. These five streams are connected by a strong environmental sustainability and gender equality imperative to build back better.

The UN´s response in the field of social protection and basic services includes supporting governments to adapt, extend and scale-up services to secure sustained learning for all children, and adolescents, preferably in schools. As such, the UN is working with national education authorities and private sector education service providers to support preschools and schools that can safely remain open, while assisting governments to scale up digital and other forms of remote learning.  All efforts need to be put in place to make sure all children and youth remain engaged in remote learning if available and return to school once these reopen.  The UN is also supporting teachers through professional training programmes on alternative learning methods.

The UN recognizes a multilateral response like none ever before is required. One that needs the courage to flip the current orthodoxies because we need new tools, new measures and we need to lift the policy barriers that we often find as an excuse as to why we can’t do things at the speed that it needs to be done.

We are presented with a once in a generation opportunity to reach all children and deliver on the SDGs. To do so, we need to work together and leverage partnerships. Our priority is to ensure that all children are learning – whether that’s returning to school, accessing education for the first time, utilizing digital technologies or sitting in a classroom. We need to reach those that are furthest behind, we need to innovate how we do business, and we need to provide real-time response. Children in emergencies and children on the move are in greatest need of support and must be included in any approach.

ECW. In the face of the global COVID-19 crisis unprecedented to our generation, it is also a time for reflection and a real resolve to building back better. Considering that an inclusive quality education for every child and adolescent is one essential part of the solution, how can all of the UN’s constituencies pro-actively and concretely provide unwavering support to realize the values and commitments made 75 years ago?

Amina J. Mohammed. COVID-19 presents us with an opportunity for countries to build back better with equity and inclusion at the center, anchored in the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on climate change. We have an opportunity to reimagine the overall purpose, content and delivery of education in the long term and importantly how the UN system could best support countries in making their education systems more resilient with current and future crises. It is important that we utilize the comparative advantages of each UN entity and other partners for a strengthened, efficient, and comprehensive global response. With UNICEF’s global field presence and education programming in 145 countries, and UNESCO’s network of specialized institutes and mandate to lead the global coordination of the achievement of the education related targets, the UN can utilize inter-sectoral approaches and tap into collective experience and practices from our expertise around the world.

EVERY ACTION COUNTS – WORLD REFUGEE DAY 2020

This story was built from the analysis and reporting in Education Cannot Wait’s upcoming 2019 Annual Report. Stay tuned for more stories, high-level virtual events and analysis from the report. All figures reflect reporting as of 31 December 2019 unless otherwise noted. Photo © Avsi Foundation

Education Cannot Wait investments are reaching refugee children and youth in crisis-affected countries around the world, providing them with the hope, opportunity and protection of an education. In places like Uganda, this means disabled girls, like Sunday Harriet, are regaining access to education, allowing them to learn, grow and thrive.

Everyone can make a difference and every action counts! This is the rallying cry of 2020’s World Refugee Day, led by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and supported by stakeholders and partner across the world, including Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises.

For refugee students living in the Palake Refugee Camp in Northern Uganda, like Sunday Harriet, even the smallest of actions can make a big difference.

As an infant, Sunday suffered a serious infection in both her ears. Now 11 years old and in primary school, Sunday’s learning ability is impaired because her hearing is now limited.  “I used to be picked by teachers and brought to the front of the classroom because I did not hear well,” she said.

Sunday’s challenges are complex. Because she has a disability, and because she was forced to flee her home, her chances of receiving quality education were limited.

The spread of COVID-19 now exacerbates the hardships faced by refugee children like Sunday.  Refugee girls are especially at risk, often pressured by economic hardship, culture and tradition to stay home and work, or vulnerable to sexual exploitation and abuse. According to the Malala Fund, approximately 10 million more secondary-school-aged girls could be out of school as a result of the pandemic, putting them at even higher risk.

To support Sunday, and other students like her, Education Cannot Wait provides funding for the Education Response Plan for Refugees and Host Communities in Uganda and through a fast-acting First Emergency Response to the COVID-19 pandemic, announced in early April.

In Uganda, ECW’s education in emergency COVID-19 response includes $1 million in funding to Save the Children and UNHCR, which focuses on ensuring continuous access to education, including: distance, online and radio learning; information campaigns, risk communications and community engagement in local languages, including psychosocial and mental health support; and, water and sanitation facility upgrades in schools and learning centers as a first line of defense.

Recent reports indicate that 60,000 refugee and Ugandan children are benefiting from extended learning and mental health support during the lockdown through ECW’s first emergency response.

These interconnected programmes were developed through a collaborative process, including the Government of Uganda, donors, NGOs, UN agencies, the education in emergencies working group and other key stakeholders.

To get Sunday back to learning, the AVSI Foundation screened her using a contact disability assessment tool, which helps detect children and youth with impairments. Having clearly qualified for assistance, she was referred for further clinical assessment from an ear, nose and throat specialist in Gulu, in northern Uganda, who recommended she be fitted with hearing aids.

The assistance has been life changing! Having eventually received her digital hearing aids from Kampala Audiology and Speech Centre, Sunday can now properly engage in classroom exercises and listen clearly to what her teachers are saying.

Photo © Manan Kotak/ECW

Impact

According to ECW’s upcoming Annual Report, Uganda is host to the third largest refugee community in the world as more than 1.3 million refugees have crossed its borders from Burundi, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More than 60 per cent of the refugees are under the age of 18; girls and women make up a total of 51 percent of the total displaced population.

The Education Response Plan for Refugees and Host Communities in Uganda, was launched in September 2018 and aims to improve access and delivery of quality education for refugees and host communities affected areas in the border regions. The Education Response Plan is based on the ‘Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework’ (CRRF) and these work together to make the education system more inclusive for refugees and other vulnerable groups, such as children with disabilities, girls and child mothers.

In 2019, the Uganda Education Consortium, working under the national emergency response plan, delivered a comprehensive package of services that include the distribution of scholastic materials to 150,941 children (48 per cent girls), the construction of more than 150 new classrooms, the recruitment of 640 teachers, and the establishment of referral pathways alongside accelerated learning programmes.

This multi-pronged approach helped improve the gross enrolment ratio for refugee children from 53 per cent in 2017 to 75 per cent by the end of 2019.

Taken together with other actions, this provides a strong enabling environment for the government of Uganda to roll out effective education in emergencies relief to the COVID-19 pandemic and other fast-acting emergencies that derail development gains and push budgets and coping mechanisms to the breaking point.

Photo © Manan Kotak/ECW

Every Action Counts – The Global Picture

The global population of forcibly displaced people reached 70.8 million in 2019 – the highest level since World War II. This includes almost 26 million refugees and over 41 million Internally Displaced People (IDPs), who often face significant barriers to access education in host countries.

In 2019, according to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, only 63 per cent of refugee children attended primary school (compared to 91 per cent globally) and only 24 per cent of refugees accessed secondary education. COVID-19, climate change, armed conflicts and a trend toward longer periods of displacement and protracted crises are putting even more girls and boys at risk, and derailing global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG4,which focuses on universal and equitable quality education.

While host countries took in large numbers of refugees, they were not always able to accommodate the increased demand for services, and the 26 million refugees around the world face particularly dangerous, life-threatening obstacles in the fight against COVID-19. In a camp in Northwest Syria hosting 1 million people, people face cramped living conditions, little or no healthcare and a lack of access to clean water. In Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar, as many as 16,000 people currently live in quarantine zones. Even worse, these multiplying crises that could result in 300,000 people starving every day, cost our economy trillions of dollars, and push millions back into poverty.

Education is part of the solution. Schools and learning centers provide refugee children with meals, they provide them with sanitation facilities, and they provide them with a safe haven to escape the fear and danger of life that they may face in exile. In short, education provides them hope.

Immediate relief is needed. ECW has expanded its education in emergencies COVID-19 response appeal to US$300 million. Much of this funding will directly reach refugee and other displaced children.

To create true transformational change, however, the education system needs to be built back better with integrated long-term approaches that bridge the humanitarian-development nexus, and put refugee children and education first.

Statement by the Signatories of the Pledge at the Global Refugee Forum to Make Geneva a Global Hub for Education in Emergencies

Call for action to address the threat by the COVID-19 pandemic to the education of those left furthest behind

The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a global health and socio-economic crisis; it is also a massive education crisis with potentially extremely severe ramifications, especially for vulnerable children and youth impacted by armed conflicts, forced displacement, and protracted crises.

Read the full statement here: Statement Geneva Hub for Education in Emergencies

DUTCH POSTCODE LOTTERY AWARDS THEIRWORLD €1.35M FOR EMERGENCY COVID-19 EDUCATION ON THE GREEK ISLANDS

Theirworld, the global children’s education charity, has been awarded €1.35 million ($1.53 million) to fund emergency education for thousands of refugee children on the Greek islands during the Covid-19 epidemic, in partnership with Education Cannot Wait, a global fund for education in emergencies.

Refugee children are receiving the safety, opportunity and protection of an education at the Tapuat Centre near the Moria camp on Lesvos — Photo © UNICEF

16 June 2020 – Theirworld, the global children’s education charity, has been awarded €1.35 million ($1.53 million) to fund emergency education for thousands of refugee children on the Greek islands during the Covid-19 epidemic, in partnership with Education Cannot Wait, the global fund for education in emergencies.

The award from the Dutch Postcode Lottery (Nationale Postcode Loterij) will support vital education programs for vulnerable children on the islands and on the mainland who have often fled war in countries such as Syria and Afghanistan.

Without this donation, funding for education programmes for young refugees on the islands would have run out by the end of this month.

More than 10,000 people in the overcrowded refugee camps in the Greek Aegean islands are school-aged children and fewer than 15 per cent have any form of education. Including the Greek mainland, there are about 46,000 refugee children and youth. Only 13,000 of them are in formal schools.

The award is part of the ongoing support which Theirworld has received from the Dutch Postcode Lottery to support education in emergencies, in partnership with Education Cannot Wait.

Working with partners like UNICEF and UNHCR, the contribution will bridge the divide between in-person and remote learning opportunities, aiming to reach 18,900 children with formal and distance learning, as well as in non-formal education centres adjusted to COVID-19 measures. Additionally, the contribution will be used to implement preventative measures in education centres to curb the spread of COVID-19 when they reopen. These will include hygiene and medical items.

Without access to education, refugee children face an uncertain future. They also face the additional threat of the coronavirus, which the Greek government has described as a “ticking health bomb” in the islands’ refugee camps.

According to Theirworld, €20 million will be needed to secure quality education for these children over the next two years.

As part of the larger collaboration, funds have so far been used to build informal education centres for young refugees that concentrate on teaching the Greek language and providing psychological and social support to traumatised children. This helps them to be better prepared for a return to school alongside their local peers.

Sigrid van Aken, Director of Dutch Postcode Lottery, said: 

“From school closures to isolation and a persistent sense of anxiety, the effects of this pandemic are having a huge impact on children and young people in refugee camps, especially girls,” she said.

“Despite the crisis, learning should never stop. This is why the Dutch Postcode Lottery is committed to supporting UNHCR, UNICEF and Theirworld in offering remote learning and ensuring inclusion and equity for refugee children in the Greek Islands so that no one is left behind.”

Justin van Fleet, the President of Theirworld, said:

“Every child, wherever they are in the world and whatever their circumstances, has the right to quality education. In emergency situations, education can give displaced or traumatised children a sense of structure and direction. A safe place to play and learn can also help children heal by providing a return to familiar routines.

“It’s because of the vital role that education plays in emergency situations that we are calling on the international community to secure crucial education provision for young refugees on the Greek islands who are among the most vulnerable children in Europe. We are incredibly grateful to the Dutch Postcode Lottery for responding to this humanitarian crisis and giving these children a chance of a better life.”

Sarah Brown, the Chair of Theirworld, said:

“Refugee children on the Greek islands are living in overcrowded, unsanitary camps. They are among the most vulnerable children in Europe. I firmly believe that just a few hours of lessons a day, away from the camps, can be transformative for learning language and skills, and, importantly, can restore hope for a better future, which is so vital in emergency situations.”

Theirworld’s report, Finding Solutions to Greece’s Refugee Education Crisis, was written by international education expert Maysa Jalbout, and based on extensive visits to Greece and dozens of interviews with key players in government, aid agencies and local NGOs.

Its three-point proposal calls on the international community to recognise the pressure and drain on Greece’s education system created by the refugee crisis and to more actively support the country’s efforts with refugees over the next five years. At the same time, it says the Greek government needs to demonstrate more thorough planning that the international community could then get behind.

About Theirworld

Theirworld is a global children’s charity committed to ending the global education crisis and unleashing the potential of the next generation. Its mission is to ensure that every child has the best start in life, a safe place to learn and the skills they need for the future. Theirworld is dedicated to providing education for refugees,and has been among the leading donors to refugee education in the Greek islands through its partnership with Education Cannot Wait.

About the Dutch Postcode Lottery – society always wins

The Dutch Postcode Lottery was established in 1989 to support charities that work to create a better and greener world. The lottery raises funds for its charity partners and draws attention to the work they are doing.

With the Postcode Lottery, your postcode is your lottery number, so that when you win, you win together with your neighbours. At the moment, more than 3 million Dutch households play the Postcode Lottery every month, giving them the chance to win hundreds of thousands of prizes. At least 40% of the Postcode Lottery’s gross proceeds goes to 105 charities on a yearly basis. Since its foundation, the Dutch Postcode Lottery has donated over 6.2 billion euro to organizations dedicated to ‘people’ and ‘planet’. They include the Clinton Foundation, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)Médecins Sans FrontièresOxfam Netherlandsthe World Wildlife FundAmnesty International and Greenpeace.

The Dutch Postcode Lottery, the FriendsLottery and the BankGiro Lottery are part of the Holding Nationale Goede Doelen Loterijen N.V. The format of the Postcode Lottery is also used in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany and Norway. These lotteries together are the second biggest private donor in the world. www.postcodeloterij.nl

For more information, please contact:

Nicole Martin

Head of Partnerships and Media

nicole@theirworld.org

07768695087

PROTECTING EDUCATION FROM ATTACK: SCOPE, IMPACT AND RESPONSE

The Permanent Missions of Norway, Argentina, Nigeria, Qatar, Spain, and Uruguay, together with the Global Coalition to Protection Education from Attack (GCPEA), have the honour to invite you to a virtual event to examine the latest data on attacks on education and to mark the Fifth Anniversary of the Safe Schools Declaration.

Opening remarks
H.E. Ms. Ine Eriksen Søreide, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway
H.E. Ms. ​Arancha González Laya, Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Spain

Speakers
Ms. Virginia Gamba, Under-Secretary-General Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
Mr. Bruno Stagno Ugarte, Deputy Executive Director for Advocacy, Human Rights Watch
Ms. Marika Tsolakis, Lead Researcher, GCPEA
Mr. Mohamed Zaher Al-Bakour, Lecturer, Aleppo University, Syria

Moderator
Ms. Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait

The event will highlight the global scope and impact of attacks on education by presenting findings from the upcoming 2020 edition of GCPEA’s flagship report, Education under Attack. In conflicts around the world, students and educators are deliberately and indiscriminately killed, injured, recruited, raped, and abducted at, and on the way to education institutions. Schools and universities are bombed and burned and used for military purposes. In addition to the loss of life, these attacks impede education, impacting long-term economic and social development.

Education Under Attack is the most comprehensive and rigorous source of data and analysis on attacks on education and military use of schools and universities. The series serves as the primary source for reporting on indicator 4.a.3 on attacks on students, education personnel, and educational institutions, which monitors progress in implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4, Quality Education. The fifth edition will outline incidents of attacks on education and military use of educational facilities in 37 conflict-affected countries that suffer these attacks systematically between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2019.

This event will also mark the Fifth Anniversary of the Safe Schools Declaration, an intergovernmental political commitment to better protect education during armed conflict. To date, 103 states have endorsed the Declaration, representing more than half of all UN member states. Many states have already taken a critical action in implementing the Safe Schools Declaration, as documented by GCPEA in Practical Impact of the Safe Schools Declaration, saving lives and better ensuring the right to education for all in places affected by conflict.

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT EXPANDS ITS EDUCATION IN EMERGENCY COVID-19 RESPONSE TO INCLUDE 3.9 MILLION CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN CAMEROON

US$1.5 million grant in Cameroon brings total ECW COVID-19 First Emergency Response to US$24.5 million across 27 countries and emergency contexts

20 May 2020, New York – Education Cannot Wait (ECW) announces a US$1.5 million allocation to support the education in emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Cameroon. The new funding brings ECW’s total response to the pandemic to US$24.5 million across 27 countries and emergency contexts, through its first emergency response window.

The new funding will ensure access and continuity of children’s learning in crisis-affected areas in Cameroon, reaching 3.9 million children, of whom 2.2 million are girls, as well as 8,600 teachers, 60 per cent of whom are women.

Funds are allocated to UNESCO (US$1 million) and UNICEF (US$500,000) in country. The grantees will implement the investment in collaboration with and support of the Education Cluster, the Government of Cameroon and civil society organizations.

The funding will support a range of educational activities, including scaling up an existing ECW investment that provides a hybrid learning platform with internet connectivity solutions, and radio access for non-formal and formal education and providing children the opportunity to sit for exams. It will also support life-saving risk-mitigation measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which builds upon the UNICEF, WHO and IFRC Safe-Schools’ Protocols for the Reopening of Schools.

To date, ECW’s total emergency funding for COVID-19 education in emergency responses across 27 crisis-affected countries/emergency contexts has been allocated to a total of 57 grantees comprising UN agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations. These implementing agencies are coordinating their efforts together with host-governments and other partners to deliver lifesaving and life-sustaining education in emergency responses with speed and agility.

Grants duration varies between six to 12 months and focus on ensuring continuous access to education, including distance, online and radio learning; information campaigns, risk communications and community engagement in local languages, including psychosocial and mental health support; and water and sanitation facility upgrades in schools and learning centers as a first line of defense.

Donors are stepping up to fill ECW’s recent global appeal for US$50 million in immediate funding to support the education in emergency response to the global pandemic. Notably, the Lego Foundation recently announced US$15 million in funding for ECW, and the UK has provided £5 million in additional funding.

Updated analysis from UNESCO indicates that 1.2 billion learners are currently affected by the pandemic, with 154 current country-wide closures. For the 75 million children and youth already impacted by armed conflicts, forced displacement, natural disasters and protracted crises, COVID-19 and its ongoing economic and social impacts amplifies risks for girls and boys already pushed aside.

Additional information on ECW COVID-19 emergency grants per country/crisis (updated 20 May 2020):

ECW First Emergency Response grants announced on 2 April (learn more here)

  • Afghanistan: Total of $1.25 million allocated. Grantees: UNICEF ($1.25 million)
  • Bangladesh: Total of $1.5 million allocated. Grantees: BRAC ($900,000), Save the Children ($600,000)
  • Brazil: Total of $250,000 million allocated. Grantee: UNICEF ($250,000)
  • Burkina Faso: Total of $1.5 million allocated. Grantees: EDUCO ($300,000), Plan International ($500,000), Save the Children ($250,000), UNICEF ($300,000), UNHCR ($150,000)
  • Colombia: Total of $1 million allocated. Grantees: Save the Children ($1 million)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): Total of $1.5 million allocated. Grantees: AVSI ($340,000), Save the Children ($140,000), UNESCO ($520,000), War Child Canada ($500,000)
  • Ethiopia: Total of $1million allocated. Grantees: Save the Children ($500,000), UNICEF ($500,000)
  • Palestine: Total of $850,000 allocated. Grantees: Save the Children ($400,000), UNICEF ($450,000)  
  • Somalia – Federal Government of Somalia and Member States: Total of $800,000 allocated. Grantee: ADRA ($800,000)
  • Somalia – Puntland: Total of $650,000 allocated. Grantee: Save the Children ($650,000)
  • Somalia – Somaliland: Total of $700,000 allocated. Grantee: UNICEF ($700,000)
  • Syria: Total of $500,000 allocated. Grantee: UNICEF ($500,000)
  • Uganda: Total of $1 million allocated. Grantees: Save the Children ($525,000), UNHCR ($475,000)
  • Venezuela: Total of $1 million allocated. Grantee: UNICEF ($1 million)
  • Zimbabwe: Total of $500,000 allocated. Grantees: Plan International ($75,000), Save the Children ($175,000), UNICEF ($175,000), World Vision ($75,000)
  • Regional Response for Palestine Refugees: Total of $1 million allocated. Grantee: UNRWA ($1 million)

ECW First Emergency Response grants announced on 3 April (learn more here)

  • Central African Republic (CAR): Total of $1 million allocated. Grantees: Jesuit Refugee Service ($75,000), Norwegian Refugee Council ($175,000), UNICEF ($750,000)
  • Chad: Total of $1 million allocated. Grantees: Consortium Humanity International & Cooperazione Internazionale-COOPI ($300,000), UNHCR ($400,000), WFP ($300,000)
  • Ecuador: Total of $550,000 allocated. Grantee: UNICEF ($550,000)
  • Malawi: Total of $325,000 allocated. Grantees: Save the Children ($125,000), UNICEF ($200,000)
  • Mali: Total of $1.5 million allocated. Grantees: UNICEF ($750,000), UNHCR ($750,000)
  • Mozambique: Total of $325,000 allocated. Grantees: Plan International ($100,000), UNICEF ($150,000), World Vision International ($75,000)
  • Niger: Total of $1.5 million allocated. Grantees: Plan International ($225,000), Save the Children ($225,000), UNICEF ($450,000), WFP ($375,000), World Vision International ($225,000)
  • Nigeria: Total of $1 million allocated. Grantees: Plan International ($125,000), Save the Children ($125,000), Street Child ($125,000), UNICEF ($625,000)
  • Peru: Total of $300,000 allocated. Grantee: RET International ($300,000)
  • Yemen: Total of $500,000 allocated. Grantee: UNICEF ($500,000)

ECW First Emergency Response grant announced on 20 May

  • Cameroon: Total of $1.5 million allocated. Grantees: UNESCO ($1,500,000), UNICEF ($500,000)

UNESCO and Education Cannot Wait provide the Ministry of Education and Higher Education with online learning material for teachers and students

 

UNESCO Beirut / MOE&HE Lebanon / ECW Press Release

 
UNESCO and Education Cannot Wait provide the Ministry of Education and Higher Education with online learning material for teachers and students

 





12 May 2020, Beirut, Lebanon (UNESCO/Ministry of Education and Higher Education/ECW) – The COVID-19 pandemic has translated into a major education crisis. In Lebanon, 1.2 million children are affected by school closures and have seen their learning routines disrupted. While Lebanon has switched to distance teaching and learning to mitigate the effects of this disruption, challenges related to preparedness, infrastructure and capacity, as well as the digital gaps, have put additional strains on students, parents, teachers, and the educational authorities.

In this context, and in the framework of their educational response to the COVID-19 crisis, UNESCO’s Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States (UNESCO Beirut) and Education Cannot Wait (ECW) quickly joined efforts to support the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in developing inclusive distance learning solutions to ensure that learning never stops.

As one of the tracks of the Ministry of Education’s strategy to respond to the COVID-19 crisis focuses on developing online learning as an alternative to school closures, UNESCO Beirut and ECW, with generous support from the French government, provided the Ministry with online learning material and digital resources to be used by teachers and students in Lebanon. 297 video lessons, covering Math, Science, and French classes, were provided by Reseau CANOPE, and are available on the online platform launched by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education for the COVID-19 response.

Minister of Education Dr Tarek Majzoub said: “We are happy to partner with UNESCO and ECW to facilitate inclusive learning opportunities for children during this period of sudden and unprecedented educational disruption. Special thanks to the French Government for its generous contribution that made this important initiative happen”, while adding: “This collective action will help build a more resilient system to develop more open and flexible approaches to reach all our children in Lebanon and to promote the values of citizenship, coexistence, and dialogue”.

This cooperation comes within the framework of UNESCO’s project “Supporting francophone teaching and learning in Lebanon”, funded by ECW with the support of the French government, and launched in November 2018. The project aims to promote the quality and effectiveness of teaching and learning in French for vulnerable Lebanese and non-Lebanese students enrolled in public schools, and is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

UNESCO’s Regional Director for Education in the Arab States, Dr Hamed al Hamami, said: “From school closures, to isolation, to a persistent sense of anxiety, the effects of this pandemic are greatly impacting children and youth. Despite the crisis, learning should never stop. This is why UNESCO is committed to supporting the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in developing remote learning solutions and ensuring inclusion and equity for all learners, so that no one is left behind. Our cooperation with the Ministry will not only help ensure continuity of education but can also contribute to building a more resilient education system for the future, through providing teachers and students with new learning material and resources ”.

Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, stated: “Lebanon deserves all our support and cooperation. UNESCO has years of experience in modeling, testing, and sharing some of the world’s most innovative learning solutions, and their ideas are now available for nations like Lebanon amidst this crisis. The admirable efforts of the Lebanese Ministry of Education to enable online learning  brings  equity and access to education for vulnerable children, including refugee and displaced girls and boys. This is how we empower these children to improve their learning, while unlocking the amazing potential for innovation. Our appreciation and gratitude to the Government of France for making this possible.”   

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Additional Resources


Notes to Editors:
Information on the Education Cannot Wait Global Fund and its investment modalities are available at: www.educationcannotwait.org 
 

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW)
ECW is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies. It was launched by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to address the urgent education needs of 75 million children and youth in conflict and crisis settings. ECW’s investment modalities are designed to usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground, ensuring relief and development organizations join forces to achieve education outcomes. Education Cannot Wait is hosted by UNICEF. The Fund is administered under UNICEF’s financial, human resources and administrative rules and regulations, while operations are run by the Fund’s own independent governance structure.
Please follow on Twitter: @EduCannotWait   @UNESCO  @YasmineSherif1 
Additional information available at: www.educationcannotwait.org  www.unesco.org 
For press inquiries:
Anouk Desgroseilliers, adesgroseilliers@un-ecw.org, +1-917-640-6820
Kent Page, kpage@unicef.org, +1-917-302-1735
For other inquiries: info@un-ecw.org

 
 

ECW Press Release: LEGO Foundation announces $15M contribution to ECW during Global Citizen Special

THE LEGO FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES US$15 MILLION CONTRIBUTION TO EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT’S EMERGENCY RESPONSE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC DURING LADY GAGA-CURATED GLOBAL CITIZEN SPECIAL

ECW’s largest private sector donor scales up education in emergency support for children and youth caught in emergencies and crises with a powerful message during One World: Together at Home

18 April 2020, New YorkThe LEGO Foundation today announced US$15 million in funding for Education Cannot Wait’s education in emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The LEGO Foundation is the largest private sector donor to Education Cannot Wait (ECW), with a total of US$27.5 million in contributions to date. The announcement was made during ‘One World: Together At Home’, an historic, cross-platform global special organized by Global Citizen in partnership with the World Health Organization to honor frontline responders and garner support for the global fight against the pandemic.

LEGO Foundation CEO, John Goodwin, announced the contribution via a video message aired during the broadcast special. The LEGO Foundation joined a host of other private sector organizations making historic commitments to COVID-19 relief efforts during the special, alongside performances by the world’s top artists and comedians curated by Lady Gaga which includes: The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Celine Dion, Elton John, Shawn Mendes, Usher, Taylor Swift, Andrea Bocelli, Jennifer Lopez, Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Annie Lennox, The Killers, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert and more.

“Research shows that while learning through play is vital for children’s psychological, emotional and cognitive health and development, it also hones the resilience they need to overcome adversity and build their futures, which is needed now more than ever given the crisis we’re currently up against,” said John Goodwin, CEO, The LEGO Foundation. “We must support all children, including the most vulnerable children in refugee settings, to ensure they continue to have access to education and develop skills critical for them to thrive in a constantly changing world. We are honoured to collaborate and support Education Cannot Wait and our other partners who are working extremely hard in unforgiving circumstances to bring education, hope and a future to children everywhere.”

This contribution builds on recent emergency funding announced for ECW, the global fund for education in emergencies,  earlier this week by the United Kingdom. In just six days, thanks to these two contributions, ECW mobilized over US$21 million toward its US$50 million appeal to replenish its emergency funds reserve to deploy life-saving and life-sustaining  education services for crisis-affected girls and boys impacted by armed conflicts, forced displacement and natural disasters – who now also face COVID-19.

“I am deeply grateful to the LEGO Foundation for its growing and steadfast support to Education Cannot Wait, and our shared mission for children and youth in crises. ECW appreciates this generous contribution to help children and youth left furthest behind in armed conflicts, forced displacement and natural disasters, who are now doubly affected by COVID-19. There is no end in sight to how much these young souls have to suffer and they must be our absolute priority,” said Yasmine Sherif, Education Cannot Wait Director.

“The LEGO Foundation is the first private sector partner contributing to Education Cannot Wait’s emergency response to COVID-19, bringing hope to the world’s most vulnerable children through creative solutions to learning and play in the midst of the pandemic. LEGO is a shining example for all to follow and we encourage more private sector and government donor partners to come forward,” continued Sherif. “I also want to express my gratitude to our partners at Global Citizen and their supporters for providing this impactful platform ‘One World: Together at Home’ to share the critical work we are doing and encourage donors to support relief efforts.”

This funding is part of the LEGO Foundation’s US$50 million grant to support vulnerable children and youth impacted by COVID-19. It builds on ECW’s COVID-19 response by supporting play-based approaches, pre-primary education and synergies with existing ECW investments spanning some 30 crisis-affected countries to support refugee, displaced and host communities and other crisis-affected children and youth, including girls and children with disabilities who are often among the most marginalized.

ECW’s education in emergencies response to the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly being deployed across 26 crisis-affected countries and contexts, through 55 grantees from UN agencies and NGOs.  These activities will run from 6 to 12 months, and include emergency education interventions ensuring continuous learning opportunities and supporting the health and wellbeing of children, messaging on protective measures and support around risks, and increasing access to water and sanitation facilities for children and their communities.

With support from an exceptional group of artists, the One World: Together at Home global broadcast & digital special is supporting frontline healthcare workers and the World Health Organization (WHO). The United Nations and the WHO asked Global Citizen to support their COVID-19 response by bringing the world together through music and inspiring everyone to take action.

Additional Resources

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Notes to Editors:

Information on the Education Cannot Wait Global Fund and its investment modalities are available at: www.educationcannotwait.org

About the LEGO Foundation

 The LEGO Foundation aims to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow; a mission that it shares with the LEGO Group. The LEGO Foundation is dedicated to building a future where learning through play empowers children to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners. Its work is about re-defining play and re-imagining learning. In collaboration with thought leaders, influencers, educators and parents the LEGO Foundation aims to equip, inspire and activate champions for play. Learn more on www.LEGOfoundation.com.

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW)

ECW is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies. It was launched by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to address the urgent education needs of 75 million children and youth in conflict and crisis settings. ECW’s investment modalities are designed to usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground, ensuring relief and development organizations join forces to achieve education outcomes. Education Cannot Wait is hosted by UNICEF. The Fund is administered under UNICEF’s financial, human resources and administrative rules and regulations, while operations are run by the Fund’s own independent governance structure.

Please follow on Twitter: @EduCannotWait  @LEGOfoundation @YasmineSherif1    @KentPage
Additional information available at: www.educationcannotwait.org

For press inquiries:
Anouk Desgroseilliers, adesgroseilliers@un-ecw.org, +1-917-640-6820
Kent Page, kpage@unicef.org, +1-917-302-1735

For other inquiries: info@un-ecw.org