Fully funded US$48 million multi-year resilience programme will reach close to 200,000 displaced, refugee and returnee children and youth in response to protracted crises in Iraq and neighboring countries.

البيان في اللغة العربية ادنى الصفحة.

Arabic Version  English Version  Spanish Version  French Version  Russian Version  Chinese Version

3 August 2021, New York – To support the Government of Iraq in its goals to achieve universal and equitable education – especially for forcibly displaced children and youth impacted by years of war and conflict – Education Cannot Wait (ECW) announced today a new multi-year resilience programme that will reach a total of 192,100 girls and boys.

To reach its targets, the three-year programme seeks to mobilize US$35.5 million in additional resources. The initial US$12.5 million catalytic seed-funding grant from ECW will be implemented by Save the Children in coordination with the Iraq’s Ministries of Education in Baghdad and Erbil The seed-funding grant will reach 36,500 children and youth over the next three years, 60 per cent of whom are girls.

“We call on donors, the private sector, philanthropic foundations, and national and international partners to urgently help fully fund this multi-year resilience programme, which will support Iraq in building back from years of war, the COVID-19 pandemic, and other factors pushing more and more children out of school,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, the UN global fund for education in emergencies. “Education means a more peaceful, more prosperous future for the people of Iraq. Education means girls will learn to read and one day become teachers, doctors and engineers. It means boys can avoid recruitment into armed groups. It means refugees fleeing conflict in Syria and other neighboring countries can find stability, hope and resilience as the region seeks to build back from the ashes of war.”

“Save the Children welcomes the launch of the multi-year resilience programme in Iraq at a time when children are missing out on early childhood development and education opportunities due to the long-term impact of conflict combined with COVID-19. The programme will be an opportunity for a safe return to schools for crisis-affected children and youth in Iraq to access inclusive, and quality education to support their well-being and their learning outcomes. We look forward to having coordinated efforts of all education actors in Iraq and hope to bring sustainable changes to the Iraqi education system,” said Ishtiaq Mannan, Country Director Save the Children in Iraq.

Rising from the ashes

Prior to the Gulf War, Iraq had achieved near universal primary education. Years of crisis, armed conflict, out-of-date policies, economic challenges, and a series of sanctions have led to a deterioration of access, equity and quality of education.

School closures from COVID-19, limited remote learning access, a lack of teaching and learning materials, and other factors are pushing even more girls and boys out of school. Early childhood education enrollment is alarmingly low with just 1 out of 10 children attending pre-school.

It’s a system-wide challenge. By the sixth grade, girls represent less than half of the students in the education system. Only about 1 in 4 internally displaced children are able to access a formal education, while just 2 out of 10 returnees are back in the classroom. Schools were targeted during the years of war, and only 38 per cent of school infrastructure remains undamaged.

Efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 led to the closure of schools across the country in March 2020. Schools under the Center Ministry of Education remain closed, while primary and secondary schools under the Kurdish Region of Iraq started to reopen at the beginning of October 2020. The Government of Iraq offered technology-based solutions for learners, but many remote models are not feasible for those living in the camps. This leaves 7.4 million students without the means to access remote schooling.

Where education services are available, school resources and qualified teachers are overwhelmed by overcrowded classrooms and responding to the unique needs of learners that are struggling to overcome adversity, stress and other psychological factors after years of living in active war zones.

Building back better

The multi-year programme builds on ECW’s US$2.3 million COVID-19 education in emergency grant, and aims to support 250 schools and learning centers delivering formal and non-formal education, across the Center Iraq and Kurdistan regions of Iraq.

In all, 10 per cent of beneficiaries are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in camps and 15 per cent in non-camp settings, 30 per cent are returnees, 35 per cent are Syrian refugees, and 10 per cent are from host communities. Girls and adolescent girls will make up 60 per cent of those to be reached across all education levels. Children living with disabilities will comprise 10 per cent of the overall girls and boys to be reached.

The programme will rebuild schools, promote access for continuous, inclusive and gender-responsive education services in crisis-affected communities, restore a sense of safety, protection, and social and emotional well-being, train and recruit qualified teachers, strengthen the capacity of both community-based and institutional school governance systems, and make sure schools, the government and other local partners have the resources they need to scale-up the impacts of the project and reach the targets outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals for universal, equitable education.




بيان صحفي

صندوق «التعليم لا يمكن أن ينتظر» يُعلن عن منحة تحفيزية بقيمة 12.5 مليون دولار أمريكي في العراق، من أجل النهوض بأهداف التنمية السلميّة والتعليم الشامل والمنصف

إنَّ برنامج تعزيز القدرة متعدّد السنوات ومموَّل تمويلاً كاملاً بقيمة 48 مليون دولار أمريكي، من المقرَّر أن يساعد حوالي 200 ألف طفل وشاب من النازحين واللاجئين والعائدين ،وذلك  في إطار الاستجابةلأزمات طال أمدها في العراق والبلدان المجاورة.

3  آب / أغسطس 2021، نيويورك – بهدف دعم حكومة العراق في بلوغ أهدافها الرامية إلى تحقيق تعليمٍ شاملٍ ومنصف – لا سيما للنازحين قسراً من الأطفال والشباب الذين تضرَّروا لسنوات عديدة من وَيْلات الحرب والنزاع – أعلن صندوق «التعليم لا يمكن أن ينتظر» اليوم عن برنامج جديد لتعزيز القدرة على الصمود، يمتد لسنوات عدّة ويستفيد منه 192,100 تلميذ من الفتيات والفتيان. 

بُغْيَة تحقيق أهدافه، يسعى البرنامج الممتد لثلاث سنوات إلى حشد موارد إضافية تبلغ قيمتها 35.5 مليون دولار أمريكي. وسيتولى صندوق إنقاذ الطفولة تنفيذ منحة التمويل الأوَّلي التحفيزي بقيمة 12.5 مليون دولار أمريكي المقدَّمة من صندوق «التعليم لا يمكن أن ينتظر»، بالتنسيق مع وزارتَيْ التربية العراقيّتَيْن في بغداد وأربيل. وستتمكّن منحة التمويل الأوَّلي من مساعدة 36,500 طفل وشاب طيلة السنوات الثلاث المقبلة، 60 في المائة منهم من الفتيات.

لقراءة البيان الصحفي بالكامل اضغط هنا



21 June 2021, New York – We are deeply alarmed by reports of the abduction of 80 schoolchildren in the State of Kebbi in Nigeria on 17 June and call for their immediate release. This news comes only a few days after another tragic attack in which 150 students were abducted in north-central Nigeria. Such heinous violence has been increasing in the country, with around 1,000 girls and boys reportedly abducted by armed elements in recent months, according to the United Nations.

Every child – especially girls – deserves the right to go to a safe school free of fear of violence or kidnapping.  Every school-aged child and adolescent, every girl, has an inalienable right to protection under international law. With the increase in school abductions in Nigeria, government efforts to reestablish a Safe Schools Initiative, which derives from international law, and take new measures for school safety must be accelerated. Every child should have the confidence that all parties – local governments, national government, civil society and the international community – are working together to make their safety and right to a quality and inclusive education a top priority.

Under international humanitarian law and human rights law, students, schools, and their personnel must be protected. Yet, the horrific reality is that impunity remains pervasive for the perpetrators of attacks against education and schoolchildren. It can no longer be allowed to stand.

Around the globe, a growing number of States have endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration – a total of 109 to date, including Nigeria. As Nigeria prepares to host the Fourth International Conference on the Safe Schools in October this year, it must lead the way on how to turn the Declaration’s commitments into action to ensure that all students and educators can learn and teach in safety. The children of Nigeria, especially the girls, have suffered enough and deserve no less than physical and legal protection to learn in safety.

Justin van Fleet, President of the global children’s charity Theirworld

Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait


Download our new Added Value Note to learn more about ECW’s unique value proposition to deliver quality education to the children and youth left furthest behind in emergencies and protracted crises. 

Download our new Added Value Note to learn more about ECW’s unique value proposition to deliver quality education to the children and youth left furthest behind in emergencies and protracted crises. 

Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is the global fund dedicated to education in emergencies and protracted crises. We reach those left furthest behind: refugee, internally displaced and crisis-affected children and youth, and their teachers and communities – all of whom are desperately holding on to hope in refugee camps and communities torn by war, forced displacement, climate-induced disasters and other crises. THIS IS OUR ADDED VALUE.

Today, an estimated 128 million vulnerable girls and boys live in crisis settings where official or de facto authorities are either unable or unwilling to deliver their inherent human right: the basic service of an inclusive, equitable quality education. Their lives are a constant survival amidst conflicts, disasters, and systematic violations of human rights, humanitarian and refugee law.

To reach these girls and boys, ECW works directly through aid partners on the ground: United Nations (UN) agencies, and international and national civil society organisations. This allows ECW to act swiftly, strengthen accountability, and cut through red tape to deliver faster, better results in complex crisis situations, both in middle- and low-income countries.

The Fund’s investments are aligned to existing government strategies, as well as to humanitarian and refugee response plans, and are targeted to fill identified funding and programmatic gaps so these girls and boys can benefit from the hope, safety and potential of a quality education.

ECW is established within the UN system and works closely with other multilateral stakeholders (e.g. European Union, African Union, World Bank/Global Partnership for Education, amongst others). The Fund works in partnerships – at the global, regional and national levels – to end siloed responses through joint programming, increase efficiency, and connect immediate relief and longer-term interventions; thus, achieving quality education outcomes and strengthening resilience amid crises.

As the world grapples to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and to address climate change threats, ECW is uniquely positioned to answer the UN Secretary General’s call for a ‘New Social Contract and a New Global Deal’ that creates equal opportunities for all and respects the rights and freedoms of all – with education and digital technology as the ‘two great enablers and equalizers.’

Read the full Added Value Note here.

“As we enter 2021, education must be at the core of pandemic response and recovery efforts. Without resolute political commitment by global leaders, as well as additional resources for Education Cannot Wait, and its UN and civil society partners, millions of girls and boys may never return to school. Investing in the education of these vulnerable children and youth is an investment in peace, prosperity and resilience for generations to comeand a priority for the United Nations.” – ANTÓNIO GUTERRES, UN SECRETARY-GENERAL


ECW announces an additional US$1.5 million grant to accelerate the impact of the Fund’s US$27.2 million multi-year education in emergency response for refugee, migrant and host-community children and youth in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru 

ECW announces an additional US$1.5 million grant to accelerate the impact of the Fund’s US$27.2 million multi-year education in emergency response for refugee, migrant and host-community children and youth in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru 


1 April 2021, New York – In response to the Western Hemisphere’s largest humanitarian crisis, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) announced today a US$1.5 million regional grant to advance resource mobilization, policy support, data collection and advocacy to accelerate the impact of the Fund’s multi-year investments in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

The new allocation builds on ECW’s US$27.2 million in catalytic grants announced in December 2020. The funding supports multi-year resilience programmes in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru that aim to ensure continued access to inclusive and equitable quality education for over 350,000 vulnerable children and youth.

“We commend Colombia’s recently announced offer of temporary protection to Venezuelans, and hope that the grant from Education Cannot Wait will help implement this remarkable step forward and encourage other countries in the region to follow suit. Financing education for refugees is a moral and political imperative for all world leaders in the 21st Century,” stressed Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of Education Cannot Wait’s High-Level Steering Group.

With the issuance of the new grant, Education Cannot Wait’s Director Yasmine Sherif called on donors and the private sector to mobilize an additional US$116 million to support the Fund’s education in emergency responses for refugee children and youth in host communities impacted by the Venezuela Regional Crisis.

“Global leaders must step up to address this pressing humanitarian crisis. Over 5.4 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela have fled their country due to violence and insecurity. Girls and boys in this group are at risk of sexual exploitation, human trafficking, discrimination, hunger and malnutrition, and restricted access to schooling. If we don’t act now, many will never return to the safety and opportunity that an education provides,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, the global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises.

The escalating crisis in Venezuela has triggered the largest forced displacement in South America’s history. Globally, only the Syrian exodus is larger. Since 2015, a significant number of Venezuelans have fled into Colombia (2.4 million), Ecuador (1.5 million) and Peru (830,000).

As the situation in Venezuela continues to escalate, it is likely that Venezuelans seeking refuge in neighboring countries and beyond will not be able to return home safely any time soon. Many refugee and migrant children and youth lack documentation or official status, and oftentimes lack access to basic services, including health services, education and social services.

The COVID-19 crisis makes matters even worse. In Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, 28 million learners have been affected by school closures.

While ministries of education are making efforts to expand remote learning options and expand educational programmes to absorb the influx of refugees into local schools, refugee children are often left behind. Without access to the internet, computers and smartphones, these children are being cut off from distance learning opportunities.

New funding accelerates Venezuela regional crisis response

The new US$1.5 million ECW Acceleration Facility Grant supports regional public goods and a cross-border vision aimed at increasing access to quality, inclusive education for refugee, displaced and host community children and youth impacted by the crisis.

The initiative will accelerate the impact of ECW’s country-level multi-year resilience programmes by strengthening education management information systems to integrate migrants and refugees, providing a platform for sharing lessons and good practices across the region, advocating and mobilizing additional resources at the regional and global level, and promoting dialogue for the development of positive education in emergency policies that ensure access and quality education in national systems.

Progress is already underway. With support from ECW, the Governments of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru are taking extraordinary measures to ensure refugee and displaced children have access to education.

Through ECW’s investments, children are provided with safe learning environments, improved access to remote learning and technologies that bridge the digital divide, and psychosocial services to help children deal with the trauma of being forcibly driven from their homes.

Built in coordination with governments, civil society, UN organizations and other key partners, ECW’s multi-year investments in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru align with existing educational, humanitarian and national development plans. The investments address both the immediate humanitarian needs and system-strengthening, enhancing the coherence between humanitarian and development interventions in the education sector.


ECW investment delivered through Save the Children in partnership with Norwegian Refugee Council, Finn Church Aid, and the South Sudan Ministry of General Education and Instruction, delivers textbooks in more than 3,700 primary and secondary schools.

ECW investment delivered through Save the Children in partnership with Norwegian Refugee Council, Finn Church Aid, and the South Sudan Ministry of General Education and Instruction, delivers textbooks in more than 3,700 primary and secondary schools.

View Original

24 March 2021, Juba – The first of over 1.12 million textbooks was handed to school leaders in Juba today as part of a massive program aimed at ensuring out-of-school children are able to learn in South Sudan. The textbooks will play a vital role in the teaching and learning process that gives every child the best possible opportunities for education in South Sudan.

The programme, led by Save the Children in partnership with the Norwegian Refugee Council, Finn Church Aid, and the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI) is funded by Education Cannot Wait (ECW).

The programme is one of the most wide-reaching education resourcing initiatives in South Sudan. More than 1.5 million children – including 1,449,219 primary school pupils and 109,854 secondary school students – in 3,391 primary and 401 secondary schools in the six states of Eastern Equatoria, Lakes, Jonglei, Upper Nile, Unity and Warrap will benefit from the books.

“Many children are not learning in South Sudan and one of the factors is that both learners and teachers do not have access to adequate reference materials, guides or textbooks that they need to effectively facilitate quality teaching and learning,” said Rama Hansraj, the Country Director of Save the Children in South Sudan. “We believe that these 1.12 million textbooks will reduce the high pupil- textbook ratio thereby allowing more children to get access to textbooks. Thus, putting books in the hands of learners. These textbooks have come in handy at a time when social distancing is a key requirement to controlling the spread of COVID-19. This means that with more books, we are able to reduce the number of children that come together to share a book.”

The textbooks ratio is expected to be reduced to 1:1 for secondary and primary learners in the targeted six states across South Sudan.

Globally, Save the Children and partners work to ensure that every child receives a good quality education and gains the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in the 21st century. Save the Children is committed to coordinating and working with all development partners to ensure that all children have access to safe, inclusive, and quality learning opportunities they need to realize their full potential.

ECW’s US$20 million catalytic grant in South Sudan set in motion a multi-year educational response programme for two years in the country. The programme provides access to pre-primary education, boosts gender equity, prevents early dropouts, and supports children and youth in accessing the psychosocial support they need to recover and rebuild from trauma, conflict and displacement in South Sudan.


  • 1.12 million textbooks distributed in Juba, set to reach 3,792 primary and schools across South Sudan
  • Programme is in response to the 2.2 million children still missing out on education.
  • 1 in 3 schools have been damaged, destroyed, occupied or closed due to conflict, weather events, and COVID-19 in South Sudan.
  • Only 3.5% of girls enrolled in secondary schools, primary school completion rate is the lowest in the world, at less than 10%


Notes to Editors:

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.

On Twitter, please follow: @EduCannotWait @YasmineSherif1 @KentPage

Additional information available at:

For press inquiries:
Anouk Desgroseilliers,, +1-917-640-6820
Kent Page,, +1-917-302-1735
For other inquiries:

About Save the Children international:

Save the Children has been working with and for children, their families and communities in South Sudan since 1991. We provide children with access to equitable quality education, healthcare and nutrition support, and families with food security and livelihoods assistance. Our child protection programmes support vulnerable children including unaccompanied and separated children and those affected by violence, as well as advocating for children’s rights at national, state and community levels. We save children’s lives. We fight for their rights and we help them fulfil their potential.

For any other inquiries, please contact:

Kangu Tito Justin, Media and Communication Coordinator Save the Children | +211922844458

International Women’s Day, 2021 Every Girl Has a Right to An Education

The following opinion piece is part of series to mark the upcoming International Women’s Day, March 8.

NEW YORK, Mar 7 2021 (IPS) – Access to an inclusive quality education is a universal human right. When the inherent right to a good education is ignored or denied, the consequences are severe. For a girl in country of conflict or forced displacement, the impact is brutally multiplied.

Besides their already marginalized role in war-torn countries or as refugees, adolescent girls and girls are being disproportionately affected by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even before the pandemic broke in early 2020, some 39 million girls had their education disrupted as a direct result of humanitarian crises. Of these, 13 million girls had been forced out of school completely.

Such is the level of discrimination that, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, refugee girls are only half as likely to be enrolled in secondary school as boys. There is a two in three chance girls in crisis settings won’t even start secondary school. At primary level girls in crisis settings are two and a half times more likely to be out of school.

In crisis settings, adolescent girls are more likely to be married by 18 than to finish school. Early pregnancies, gender-based violence and sexual and physical exploitation are realities faced by millions of girls daily. Take a moment and reflect on this brutal reality. Imagine if these figures were the reality of our own adolescent daughters.

The UNFPA projects that the diverse consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic could result in 13 million additional child marriages between 2020 and 2030. These traumatic experiences lead to higher dropout rates, perpetuating cycles of exploitation and entrenching millions in poverty. Such is the excruciating consequences of girls already enduring conflicts and forced displacement and now surviving another threat: the pandemic.

Providing girls and adolescent girls in crisis with an education is absolutely essential today in order to empower them and bring hope. Their access to an inclusive quality education during already challenging circumstances is as transformative for them as human beings arising from the ashes of hopelessness, as it is for their societies in urgent need of empowered girls and women to build back better.

Studies show that increased access to education dramatically raises their lifetime earnings, national economic growth rates go up, child marriage rates decline, and child and maternal mortality fall. Girls’ education breaks down cycles of exploitation, protecting and empowering young girls and adolescents to reach their potentials and become change-makers. And, the world need change-makers more than ever, not the least in countries affected by conflicts and displacement.

The World Bank estimates that if every girl worldwide were to receive 12 years of quality schooling, whether or not in a crisis setting, they would double their lifetime earnings, with the aggregate value running into trillions of dollars.

Education provides girls with practical skills and tools; it supports them emotionally and empower them process their traumatic experiences; it prepares them to face their unique challenges, helping them to not only become productive members of society, but more and more, to become confident leaders of their societies.

It is a small crowd right at the top, however. Only about 20 countries have a female head of state or government, and fewer have at least 50 percent women in the national cabinet. But as COVID-19 has demonstrated, several have played decisive roles in protecting our humanity on the basis of universal human rights.

So, what does the pathway to leadership look like when you are young? How do we get young girls in crisis situations into education and then later to play important roles in the decision-making of their communities, their economies and nations?

Education Cannot Wait – the global fund launched at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit to deliver quality education for those left furthest behind, that is 75 million vulnerable children and youth in countries affected by armed conflicts, forced displacement, climate-induced disasters and protracted crises. At Education Cannot Wait we place girls and adolescent girls at the forefront of our work – because it is their inaliable human right and we believe in them as the change-makers. We take affirmative action: sixty percent of our total spending is geared at an inclusive quality education for girls.

Afghanistan, for example, is one of the most dangerous countries for children because of ongoing insecurity and conflict. UNICEF estimates that 60 percent of the 3.7 million children out of school are girls. Some 17 percent of Afghan girls will marry before the age of 15 and 46 percent will marry before they reach 18. Early marriages contribute significantly to school dropout rates.
The Welfare Association for the Development of Afghanistan, an ECW implementing partner, reaches out to community leaders to deliver real results for girls in the most remote areas of Afghanistan, who until recently were held back from going to school and from receiving a quality education.

ECW has given priority in Afghanistan to female teacher recruitment. This is being achieved in Herat, where 97 percent of teachers are women and 83 percent of students in accelerated learning classes are girls. The first year of ECW’s Multi-Year Resilience Programme – with teaching starting in May 2019 – saw some 3,600 classes established in nine of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. This required newly recruited teachers, 46 percent of whom are women, to teach 122,000 children. Nearly 60 percent of the enrolled children are girls.

In Rodat district in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, for example, community stakeholders and religious elders agreed the lack of qualified female teachers was hindering girls’ access to education, and immediately set about to find one. It was no easy task but eventually a female graduate in chemistry and biology was hired and she has turned into a beacon of hope, helping some 40 girls return to classes.

This emphasis on girls’ education is crucial for our future as a human family and the priority must be with those girls and adolescent girls left furthest behind. As Deputy-Secretary of the United Nations, Amina J. Mohammed, recently stated: “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.”

On March 8 we celebrate International Women’s Day with this year’s theme of ‘Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world’. From the perspective of those living in developed countries, what that equal future might look like for girls in crises settings has been perversely highlighted by the grim consequences of the new coronavirus world. As each month of lockdowns in rich countries passes, reports mount up of the mental health issues and child abuse being suffered by those unable to get to their normal safe learning environment at school. Girls especially are at risk and the ones more likely to be pressed into domestic chores and subject to discrimination – deprived of a future.

Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of the ECW High-Level Steering Group, reminds us that the world in 2030 risks being as far away from meeting the Sustainable Development Goals for education (SDG4) as we are now – unless we act decisively. No one should be left behind and that means addressing support needed by over 75 million children and youth in need of urgent education support in crisis-hit countries.

Education cannot wait for a conflict or crisis to be over so that crisis affected children and youth can resume normal life, or refugee children can go home. Protracted crisis often last for decades and families caught up in conflicts spend an average of 17 years as refugees. When education is denied to children, hopes for a better, the last glimmer of hope is extinguished.

Education Cannot Wait is about hope and action. We were established to accelerate the race for meeting Sustainable Development Goal 4 in crisis and disasters. By bringing together all actors in both the humanitarian and development community, we sprint forward to meet the deadline of 2030. Thanks to host-governments, UN agencies, civil society and communities, we move fast, effectively and efficiently. However, a quality education for girls and adolescent girls in crisis requires financial investments. Provided that the funding is available, we can together win this race for girls’ education. Of this, we have no doubt.

The author is Director, Education Cannot Wait



Spanish| French | Arabic | Portuguese | RussianChinese

ECW: Por que motivos a educação é uma prioridade nas emergências e crises prolongadas? 

António Guterres:  A pandemia de COVID-19 devastou as sociedades e criou a maior desestabilização de sempre nos sistemas educativos, afetando mais de 1,5 mil milhões de estudantes.  Embora tenham sido aplicadas soluções de ensino à distância, uma em cada três crianças não teve acesso a essas oportunidades, o que expôs e agravou desigualdades e vulnerabilidades, em especial para aqueles que se encontram em situação de crise.  Em tais circunstâncias, a educação protege as raparigas e os rapazes da violência e da exploração sexuais, do tráfico, da gravidez precoce e do casamento infantil, do recrutamento forçado para grupos armados e do trabalho infantil. Também assegura que continuem a aprender, oferecendo-lhes esperança para o futuro. Ao entrarmos em 2021, a educação tem de estar no cerne da resposta à pandemia e dos esforços de recuperação. Sem um compromisso político resoluto dos dirigentes mundiais, bem como recursos adicionais para o fundo “A educação não pode esperar” e os seus parceiros da ONU e da sociedade civil, milhões de raparigas e rapazes poderão nunca voltar à escola. O investimento na educação dessas crianças e jovens vulneráveis é um investimento na paz, na prosperidade e na resiliência das gerações vindouras, bem como uma prioridade para as Nações Unidas.

ECW: Por que motivos é importante facilitar uma maior colaboração entre os atores humanitários e os do desenvolvimento em contextos de crise? 

António Guterres: Com a intensificação dos conflitos, as catástrofes relacionadas com as alterações climáticas, os deslocamentos forçados a atingirem níveis sem precedentes e as crises a prolongarem-se mais do que nunca, as necessidades humanitárias continuam a crescer a um ritmo que supera a resposta, apesar da generosidade dos doadores de ajuda. As parcerias são cruciais para transformar o sistema de ajuda, acabar com as compartimentações e assegurar que a ajuda seja mais eficiente e economicamente racional. Os programas para a educação integral da criança oferecem um caminho comprovado para as partes interessadas colaborarem no sentido de habilitar as crianças e os jovens vulneráveis para o acesso a uma educação de qualidade em ambientes de aprendizagem seguros, com vista a que concretizem o seu pleno potencial. 

ECW: Que mensagem gostaria de partilhar com as raparigas e os rapazes afetados pela crise, cujo direito à educação ainda está por realizar? 

António Guterres:  Acima de tudo, presto-lhes homenagem pela sua resiliência e comprometo-me a trabalhar com os governos, a sociedade civil e todos os parceiros a fim de superar a pandemia e a crise, que têm constituído reveses tão profundos nas suas vidas. Temos também de intensificar os nossos esforços para reimaginar a educação, formando professores, colmatando o fosso digital e repensando os currículos, no sentido de dotar os educandos de competências e conhecimentos para prosperarem no nosso mundo em rápida mudança.

ECW: Enquanto estudante do ensino secundário em Portugal, ganhou o “Prémio Nacional dos Liceus” como melhor estudante do país. Depois de concluir os estudos universitários em engenharia, iniciou uma carreira como professor. Pode dizer-nos o que significa a educação para si? 

António Guterres:  Muito antes de exercer funções nas Nações Unidas ou ocupar cargos públicos, fui professor. Nos bairros degradados de Lisboa, vi que a educação é um motor para a erradicação da pobreza e uma força para a paz.  Hoje em dia, a educação está na essência dos Objetivos de Desenvolvimento Sustentável.  Precisamos de educação para reduzir as desigualdades, alcançar a igualdade de género, proteger o nosso planeta, combater o discurso de ódio e fomentar a cidadania global.  A defesa da nossa promessa de não deixar ninguém para trás começa pela educação.

ECW:  Após a turbulência de 2020, qual é a sua mensagem para o mundo ao entrarmos em 2021? 

António Guterres:  2020 trouxe-nos tragédia e perigo.  2021 tem de ser o ano para mudar de velocidade e pôr o mundo no caminho certo.  A pandemia fez-nos chegar a um momento crucial.  Podemos deixar para trás um annus horribilis para fazer de 2021 um “annus possibilitatis”: um ano de possibilidade e esperança.  Temos de o fazer acontecer, em conjunto.

مقابلات الرسالة الإخبارية لصندوق «التعليم لا ينتظر»

الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة، أنطونيو غوتيريش


السؤال 1- صندوق «التعليم لا ينتظر»: لماذا يُعد التعليم أولوية في حالات الطوارئ والأزمات التي طال أمدها؟ 


أنطونيو غوتيريش:  لقد أدّت جائحة «كوفيد-19» إلى زعزعة الاستقرار في المجتمعات وأحدثت اضطراباً غير مسبوق في نظم التعليم، مما أثّر على أكثر من 1.5 مليار طالب.  وفي الوقت الذي نُشرت فيه حلول التعليم عن بُعد، هناك طفلٌ واحد من بين كل ثلاثة أطفال فاتته فرصة الاستفادة من هذه الحلول، مما كشف عن أوجه التفاوت ونقاط الضعف وتفاقمها، لا سيما في أوضاع الأزمات.  وفي ظل هذه الظروف، فإنّ التعليم يحمي الفتيات والفتيان من عدة ظواهر منها العنف والاستغلال الجنسيين، والاتجار، والحمل المبكر وزواج الأطفال، والتجنيد القسري في الجماعات المسلحة، وعمالة الأطفال. كما أنه يضمن مواصلتهم التعلّم، مما يمنحهم الأمل في المستقبل. وفي الوقت الذي نستقبل فيه عام 2021، يجب أن يأتي التعليم في صميم جهود الاستجابة للجائحة والتعافي منها. وبدون التزام سياسي صارم من قبل قادة العالم، بالإضافة إلى توفير الموارد الإضافية اللازمة لصندوق «التعليم لا ينتظر» وشركائه في الأمم المتحدة والمجتمع المدني، قد لا يعود الملايين من الفتيات والفتيان إلى مقاعد الدراسة أبداً. ويُعد الاستثمار في تعليم هؤلاء الأطفال والشباب المعرضين للخطر بمثابة استثمار في السلام والازدهار والقدرة على الصمود لأجيالٍ قادمة ويشكّل أولويةً لدى الأمم المتحدة.


السؤال 2- صندوق «التعليم لا ينتظر»: ما أهمية تيسير قدر أكبر من التعاون بين الجهات الفاعلة في مجالي العمل الإنساني والتنمية في سياقات الأزمات؟ 


أنطونيو غوتيريش: مع اشتداد النزاعات، والكوارث المتصلة بتغير المناخ، والنزوح القسري الذي بلغ مستويات قياسية، واستمرار الأزمات لفترة أطول من أي وقت مضى، ما زالت الاحتياجات الإنسانية تفوق جهود الاستجابة لها على الرغم من سخاء الجهات المانحة للمساعدات. وتكتسي الشراكات أهمية بالغة بُغية إحداث تغيير جذري في نظام المعونات، وإنهاء التقوقع، وضمان أن تتسم المعونات بكفاءةٍ أكبر وفاعليةٍ من حيث التكلفة. وتطرح برامج ’التعليم المُتتامّ للطفل‘ سبيلاً مجرَّبة ليتعاون فيها أصحاب المصلحة من أجل تمكين الأطفال والشباب المعرضين للخطر من الحصول على تعليم جيد في بيئات تعليمية مأمونة حتى يتمكنوا من تحقيق كامل إمكاناتهم. 


السؤال 3- صندوق «التعليم لا ينتظر»: ما الرسالة التي تودّون مشاركتها مع الفتيات والفتيان المتضررين من الأزمات الذين لم يحظوا بحقهم في التعليم بعد؟ 


أنطونيو غوتيريش:  ⁦⁩قبل كل شيء، أودّ أن أحيّي قدرتهم على الصمود وأنا ملتزم بالعمل مع الحكومات والمجتمع المدني وجميع الشركاء للتغلب على الجائحة والأزمات التي شكلت انتكاسات كبيرة في حياتهم.⁦⁩ ⁦⁩يجب علينا أيضاً أن نكثّف جهودنا لإعادة تصوّر التعليم – ويشمل ذلك تدريب المعلّمين وسد الفجوة الرقمية وإعادة التفكير في المناهج الدراسية بغية تزويد المتعلمين بالمهارات والمعرفة اللازمة للازدهار في عالمنا الآخذ في التغير بوتيرة متسارعة.⁦⁩


السؤال 4- صندوق «التعليم لا ينتظر»: عندما كنتم طالباً في مرحلة التعليم الثانوي في البرتغال، فزتم بـ “الجائزة الوطنية للمدارس الثانوية” كأفضل طالب على مستوى البلاد. وبعد الانتهاء من دراستكم الجامعية في الهندسة، بدأتم مسيرتكم المهنية بصفة معلّم. هل يمكنكم أن تخبرونا بما يعنيه التعليم لكم شخصياً؟ 


أنطونيو غوتيريش:  قبل فترة طويلة من التحاقي بالأمم المتحدة أو تولّي منصب عام، عملتُ معلّماً. وفي الأحياء الفقيرة في لشبونة، رأيتُ أن التعليم هو وسيلةٌ مُحرّكة للقضاء على الفقر وقوة دافعة من أجل تحقيق السلام.  واليوم، يأتي التعليم في صميم أهداف التنمية المستدامة.  ونحن في أمسّ الحاجة إلى التعليم للحد من أوجه التفاوت، وتحقيق المساواة بين الجنسين، وحماية كوكبنا، ومحاربة خطاب الكراهية، وتعزيز المواطنة العالمية.  والالتزام بتعهّدنا المتمثل في عدم تخلّف أحد عن الرّكب إنما يبدأ بالتعليم.


السؤال 5- صندوق «التعليم لا ينتظر»:  بعد الاضطرابات التي شهدها عام 2020، ما هي رسالتكم إلى العالم في الوقت الذي نستقبل فيه عام 2021؟ 


أنطونيو غوتيريش:  لقد جلب علينا عام 2020 مأساةً وخطر.  وعلينا أن نجعل عام 2021 العام الذي نغيّر فيه أسلوب عملنا ونضع العالم على المسار الصحيح.  فقد جاءت بنا الجائحة إلى لحظة مفصلية.  ويمكننا الانتقال من عامٍ رهيب لنجعل 2021 عاماً من الإمكانات – سنةً حافلةً بكل ما هو مُمكن ومأمول.  ولابُد لنا من أن نحقق ذلك — يداً بيد.



В1 — ОНМЖ: Почему образование является приоритетным направлением в чрезвычайных ситуациях и затяжных кризисах? 

Антониу Гутерриш:  Пандемия COVID-19 поставила общество с ног на голову и привела к крупнейшему в истории разрушению систем образования, затронув более 1,5 миллиарда учащихся.  Несмотря на введенное дистанционное обучение, каждый третий ребенок не мог воспользоваться предоставленными возможностями, что лишь выявило и усугубило неравенство и уязвимость, особенно в случае тех, кто находится в кризисных ситуациях. В таких условиях образование защищает девочек и мальчиков от сексуального насилия и эксплуатации, торговли людьми, ранней беременности и детских браков, принудительной вербовки в вооруженные группировки и детского труда. Оно также гарантирует, что дети продолжат учебу, давая им надежду на будущее. Начинается 2021 год, и основные усилия по реагированию на пандемию и восстановлению должны быть сосредоточены на образовании. Без решительной политической приверженности мировых лидеров, а также дополнительных ресурсов для фонда «Образование не может ждать» и его партнеров по ООН и гражданскому обществу миллионы девочек и мальчиков могут никогда не вернуться в школу. Вклад в образование этих уязвимых детей и молодежи — это вклад в мир, процветание и жизнестойкость будущих поколений, а также приоритет для Организации Объединенных Наций.

В2 — ОНМЖ: Почему так важно более тесное сотрудничество между гуманитарными субъектами и субъектами развития в кризисных условиях? 

Антониу Гутерриш: В условиях эскалации конфликтов, стихийных бедствий, вызванных изменением климата, насильственного перемещения населения, достигающего рекордных уровней, и кризисов, длящихся дольше, чем когда-либо, гуманитарные потребности продолжают опережать ответные меры, несмотря на щедрость доноров помощи. Партнерские отношения имеют решающее значение для преобразования системы помощи, ликвидации разрозненности и обеспечения того, чтобы помощь была более эффективной, в том числе экономически. Программы образования для всех детей предлагают проверенный путь сотрудничества заинтересованных сторон, позволяющий уязвимым детям и молодежи получить доступ к качественному образованию в безопасной учебной среде, чтобы они могли полностью реализовать свой потенциал.

В3 — ОНМЖ: Что Вы хотели бы сказать пострадавшим от кризиса мальчикам и девочкам, чье право на образование до сих пор не реализовано? 

Антониу Гутерриш: Прежде всего я отдаю должное их стойкости и обязуюсь вместе с правительствами, гражданским обществом и всеми партнерами работать над преодолением как пандемии, так и кризисов, которые столь пагубно отразились на их жизнях. Мы также должны активизировать наши усилия по обновлению системы образования: подготовке учителей, преодолению цифрового разрыва и улучшению учебных программ, чтобы учащиеся могли получить навыки и знания, необходимые для процветания в нашем быстро меняющемся мире.

В4 — ОНМЖ: Во время учебы в средней школе в Португалии Вы стали победителем «Национальной премии лицеев» как лучший ученик в стране. Окончив университет и получив диплом инженера, Вы начали карьеру преподавателя. Не могли бы Вы рассказать, что образование значит лично для Вас? 

Антониу Гутерриш:  Задолго до того, как я начал работу в Организации Объединенных Наций или занял государственную должность, я был учителем. В трущобах Лиссабона я увидел, что образование — это сила, которая искоренит нищету и позволит нам установить мир. Сегодня образование занимает центральное место в Целях в области устойчивого развития. Образование необходимо, чтобы сократить неравенство, достичь гендерного равенства, защитить нашу планету, бороться с ненавистью и воспитать глобальное гражданство. Выполнение нашего обещания не оставить никого позади начинается с образования.

В5 — ОНМЖ:  Учитывая нестабильность 2020 года, каково Ваше послание миру теперь, когда мы вступаем в 2021 год? 

Антониу Гутерриш: 2020 год стал годом трагедии и страха. 2021 год должен стать годом, когда можно будет оставить прошлое позади и направить мир на верный путь. Пандемия подвела нас к поворотному моменту истории. Мы можем сделать шаг от «annus horribilis», года ужасов, к 2021 «annus possibilitatis» — году возможностей и надежд. Мы должны сделать этот шаг вместе.



安东尼奥·古特雷斯: 新冠肺炎疫情颠覆了社会生活,给教育系统造成了有史以来最大的破坏,影响了超过15亿学生。尽管推出了远程解决方案,但有三分之一的儿童错过了远程教育机会,从而暴露并加剧了不平等和脆弱性,特别是对那些处于危机局势中的儿童而言。在这种情况下,教育可以保护女童和男童免受性暴力和性剥削、人口贩卖、早孕和童婚带来的伤害,免于被迫加入武装团体和成为童工。教育也确保了他们能够继续学习,为他们带来未来的希望。在我们进入2021年之际,教育必须成为疫情应对和恢复工作的核心。如果没有全球领导人坚定的政治承诺,没有为 “教育不能等待 “及其联合国和民间社会合作伙伴提供更多的资源,数以百万计的女童和男童可能永远无法重返校园。对这些弱势儿童和青少年的教育进行投资,也就是对未来几代人的和平、繁荣和复原力的投资,这也是联合国的一个优先事项。




安东尼奥·古特雷斯: 首先,我对他们展现出的韧性表示敬意,我承诺与各国政府、民间社会和所有合作伙伴一道,战胜这场疫情和给他们的生活造成严重挫折的危机。我们还必须加大努力,重新构想教育——培训教师、弥合数字鸿沟、重新构想课程,使学习者具备在这个日新月异的世界中茁壮成长所需的技能和知识。

问题4ECW在葡萄牙读中学时,您获得了“Prémio Nacional dos Liceus”全国最佳学生奖。您在完成大学工程学学业后,成为了一名教师。您能告诉我们,教育对您个人来说意味着什么吗? 

安东尼奥·古特雷斯: 早在我在联合国任职或担任公职之前,我就是一名教师。在里斯本的贫民窟里,我切身体会到教育是消除贫困的动力,是促进和平的力量。今天,教育是可持续发展目标的核心。我们需要普及教育,借此减少不平等,实现性别平等,保护我们的地球,打击仇恨言论,培养全球公民意识。要恪守“不让任何人掉队”这一承诺,就必须从教育抓起。

问题5ECW 经历了2020年的动荡之后,在进入2021年之际,您想对全世界说点什么呢? 

安东尼奥·古特雷斯: 2020年带给我们的是悲剧和危险。2021年,我们必须改变步调,让世界步入正轨。这场疫情使我们处于一个关键时刻。我们可以从“可怕的一年”中奋起,把2021年变成“无限可能的一年”,即充满可能性和希望的一年。我们必须齐心协力实现这一目标。


Spanish| French | Arabic | Portuguese | RussianChinese

ECW: Why is education a priority in emergencies and protracted crises? 

António Guterres:  The COVID-19 pandemic has upended societies and created the largest-ever disruption of education systems, affecting more than 1.5 billion students.  While remote solutions were rolled out, 1 in 3 children missed out on such opportunities, exposing and exacerbating inequalities and vulnerabilities, especially for those in crisis situations.  In such circumstances, education protects girls and boys from sexual violence and exploitation, trafficking, early pregnancy and child marriage, forced recruitment into armed groups and child labour. It also ensures that they continue learning, offering them hope for the future. As we enter 2021, education must be at the core of pandemic response and recovery efforts. Without resolute political commitment by global leaders, as well as additional resources for Education Cannot Wait, and its UN and civil society partners, millions of girls and boys may never return to school. Investing in the education of these vulnerable children and youth is an investment in peace, prosperity and resilience for generations to come – and a priority for the United Nations.

ECW: Why is it important to facilitate more collaboration between humanitarian and development actors in crisis contexts? 

António Guterres: With the intensification of conflicts, climate change-related disasters, forced displacement reaching record levels and crises lasting longer than ever, humanitarian needs keep outpacing the response despite the generosity of aid donors. Partnerships are crucial to transform the aid system, end silos and ensure that aid is more efficient and cost-effective. Whole-of-child education programmes offer a proven pathway for stakeholders to collaborate in enabling vulnerable children and youth to access quality education in safe learning environments so they can achieve their full potential.

ECW: What message would you like to share with crisis-affected girls and boys whose right to education is not yet being realized? 

António Guterres:  Above all, I pay tribute to their resilience and I commit to working with governments, civil society and all partners to overcome both the pandemic and the crises that have been such profound setbacks in their lives. We must also step up our efforts to reimagine education – training teachers, bridging the digital divide and rethinking curricula to equip learners with the skills and knowledge to flourish in our rapidly changing world.

ECW: As a secondary student in Portugal, you won the ‘Prémio Nacional dos Liceus’ as the best student in the country. After completing your university studies in engineering, you started a career as a teacher. Can you tell us what education personally means to you? 

António Guterres:  Long before I served at the United Nations or held public office, I was a teacher. In the slums of Lisbon, I saw that education is an engine for poverty eradication and a force for peace.  Today, education is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals.  We need education to reduce inequalities, achieve gender equality, protect our planet, fight hate speech and nurture global citizenship.  Upholding our pledge to leave no one behind starts with education.

ECW:  Following the turbulence of 2020, what is your message to the world as we enter 2021? 

António Guterres:  2020 brought us tragedy and peril.  2021 must be the year to change gear and put the world on track.  The pandemic has brought us to a pivotal moment.  We can move from an annus horribilis to make 2021 an “annus possibilitatis” – a year of possibility and hope.  We must make it happen — together.

Background on UN Secretary-General António Guterres

António Guterres, the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations, took office on 1st January 2017.

Having witnessed the suffering of the most vulnerable people on earth, in refugee camps and in war zones, the Secretary-General is determined to make human dignity the core of his work, and to serve as a peace broker, a bridge-builder and a promoter of reform and innovation.

Prior to his appointment as Secretary-General, Mr. Guterres served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015, heading one of the world’s foremost humanitarian organizations during some of the most serious displacement crises in decades. The conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and the crises in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Yemen, led to a huge rise in UNHCR’s activities as the number of people displaced by conflict and persecution rose from 38 million in 2005 to over 60 million in 2015.

Before joining UNHCR, Mr. Guterres spent more than 20 years in government and public service. He served as prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, during which time he was heavily involved in the international effort to resolve the crisis in East Timor.

As president of the European Council in early 2000, he led the adoption of the Lisbon Agenda for growth and jobs, and co-chaired the first European Union-Africa summit. He was a member of the Portuguese Council of State from 1991 to 2002. Learn more about Mr. Guterres.


ECW : Pourquoi l’éducation est-elle une priorité en situation d’urgence ou de crise prolongée ? 

António Guterres : La pandémie de COVID-19 a bouleversé nos sociétés et provoqué la plus grande perturbation des systèmes éducatifs jamais enregistrée, avec plus de 1,5 milliard d’élèves affectés. Bien que des solutions d’éducation à distance aient été mises en place, un enfant sur trois n’a pas pu en profiter. Cette situation a mis en évidence et exacerbé les inégalités et les vulnérabilités dont ils souffrent, en particulier dans les situations de crise. Dans de tels contextes, l’éducation est un rempart contre les violences sexuelles et l’exploitation, la traite des êtres humains, les grossesses précoces et le mariage d’enfants, l’enrôlement forcé dans des groupes armés et le travail des enfants. Elle permet également aux enfants de poursuivre leur apprentissage et de croire en l’avenir. Alors que nous entamons l’année 2021, l’éducation doit être au cœur de notre riposte à la pandémie et de nos efforts de relèvement. Sans un engagement politique ferme de la part des leaders mondiaux, et sans ressources supplémentaires pour Éducation sans délai et ses partenaires des Nations Unies et de la société civile, des millions d’enfants risquent de ne jamais retourner sur les bancs de l’école. Investir dans l’éducation de ces enfants et jeunes vulnérables revient à investir dans la paix, la prospérité et la résilience pour les générations à venir. C’est une des priorités des Nations Unies.

ECW : Pourquoi est-il important de favoriser une plus grande collaboration entre les acteurs de l’humanitaire et du développement dans les contextes de crise ? 

António Guterres : Du fait de l’intensification des conflits, des catastrophes liées aux changements climatiques, des déplacements forcés qui atteignent des niveaux records et des crises qui perdurent, les besoins humanitaires ne cessent de croître et de devancer les interventions visant à y remédier, et ce malgré la générosité des donateurs. Les partenariats sont essentiels pour faire évoluer le système d’aide, mettre fin aux interventions cloisonnées et garantir une action plus efficace et efficiente. Ainsi, l’intérêt des programmes éducatifs axés sur le bien-être de l’enfant n’est plus à démontrer : ils permettent aux parties prenantes de collaborer en vue d’offrir aux enfants et aux jeunes vulnérables un accès à une éducation de qualité, dans des environnements d’apprentissage sûrs, de sorte qu’ils puissent réaliser pleinement leur potentiel.

ECW : Quel message souhaitez-vous faire passer aux enfants touchés par les crises, et pour lesquels le droit à l’éducation n’est pas encore concrétisé ?

António Guterres : Je rends avant tout hommage à leur résilience, et je m’engage à collaborer avec les gouvernements, la société civile et tous les partenaires afin de surmonter la pandémie et les crises qui ont tant marqué leurs vies. Nous devons également redoubler nos efforts pour réinventer l’éducation : former les enseignants, remédier à la fracture numérique et repenser les programmes scolaires afin de fournir aux apprenants les compétences et connaissances nécessaires pour s’épanouir dans notre monde en constante mutation.

ECW : Lorsque vous étiez lycéen au Portugal, vous avez obtenu les meilleurs résultats du pays et reçu le « Prémio Nacional dos Liceus ». Après des études d’ingénieur à l’université, vous avez commencé une carrière dans l’enseignement. Pouvez-vous nous dire ce que représente l’éducation pour vous ?

António Guterres : Bien avant de servir aux Nations Unies ou d’exercer une fonction officielle, j’étais enseignant. C’est dans les quartiers pauvres de Lisbonne que j’ai constaté que l’éducation est un moteur d’éradication de la pauvreté et une force pour la paix. Aujourd’hui, l’éducation est au cœur des objectifs de développement durable. Nous avons besoin de l’éducation pour réduire les inégalités, atteindre l’égalité des genres, protéger notre planète, combattre les discours de haine et cultiver la citoyenneté mondiale. L’éducation constitue les fondations sur lesquelles doivent reposer les actions qui nous permettront de tenir notre engagement à ne laisser personne de côté.

ECW : Après les bouleversements de 2020, quel est votre message pour le monde à l’aube de l’année 2021 ?

António Guterres : 2020 ne nous a apporté que souffrance et détresse. 2021 doit être l’année du renouveau, et permettre au monde de se placer sur la bonne voie. La pandémie nous a amenés à un moment charnière. Nous pouvons passer d’une annus horribilis à une « annus possibilitatis » : 2021, l’année des possibles et de l’espoir. Nous devons y parvenir, ensemble.


Educación No Puede Esperar: ¿Por qué constituye la educación una prioridad en situaciones de emergencia y crisis prolongadas? 

António Guterres: La pandemia de COVID-19 ha transformado por completo nuestras sociedades y causado una interrupción de los sistemas educativos sin precedentes, que ha afectado a más de 1.500 millones de estudiantes. Se han adoptado modalidades remotas, pero 1 de cada 3 niños no ha tenido acceso a estas oportunidades, lo que ha puesto de relieve y ha agravado las desigualdades y vulnerabilidades, sobre todo para las personas que se encuentran en situaciones de crisis. En estas circunstancias, la educación sirve para proteger a las niñas y los niños de la violencia y la explotación sexuales, la trata, los embarazos precoces y los matrimonios infantiles, el reclutamiento forzado por parte de grupos armados y el trabajo infantil. También contribuye a que los niños sigan aprendiendo, lo que les brinda esperanza de cara al futuro. En estos primeros compases del 2021, debemos cerciorarnos de que la educación representa un elemento central de la respuesta ante la pandemia y la recuperación posterior. Si los líderes internacionales, así como los recursos adicionales de Educación No Puede Esperar y sus asociados del sistema de las Naciones Unidas y la sociedad civil, no muestran un férreo compromiso político, es posible que millones de niñas y niños no vuelvan nunca a la escuela. Invertir en la educación de estos jóvenes y niños vulnerables nos permite contribuir a la paz, prosperidad y resiliencia de las generaciones venideras —además de constituir una de las prioridades de las Naciones Unidas—.

Educación No Puede Esperar: ¿Por qué es importante facilitar una mayor colaboración entre los agentes humanitarios y para el desarrollo en situaciones de crisis? 

António Guterres: A pesar de la generosidad mostrada por los donantes de asistencia, la intensificación de los conflictos, los desastres relacionados con el cambio climático, los niveles históricos de desplazamientos forzados y la cada vez mayor duración de las crisis impiden que la respuesta adoptada pueda seguir el ritmo del aumento de las necesidades humanitarias. Las alianzas desempeñan un papel crucial a la hora de transformar el sistema de ayuda, reducir la compartimentación e incrementar la eficiencia y eficacia en función de los costos de la ayuda. Se ha demostrado que los asociados pueden colaborar mediante programas de educación infantil de carácter integral a fin de garantizar que los niños y jóvenes vulnerables tengan acceso a una educación de calidad en entornos de aprendizaje seguros, lo que les permitirá desarrollar su pleno potencial.

Educación No Puede Esperar: ¿Qué mensaje le gustaría transmitir a las niñas y los niños en situaciones de crisis que aún no pueden ejercer su derecho a la educación?

António Guterres: Sobre todo, me gustaría reconocer su resiliencia, además de comprometerme a cooperar con los gobiernos, la sociedad civil y todos los asociados disponibles con vistas a superar la pandemia y las crisis que han supuesto grandes reveses en sus vidas. También debemos ampliar nuestros esfuerzos dirigidos a reimaginar la educación mediante la capacitación de los docentes, la reducción de la brecha digital y la reestructuración de los planes de estudios para que los discentes dispongan de los conocimientos y aptitudes que necesitan para prosperar en un mundo en constante y rápida evolución.

Educación No Puede Esperar: Cuando cursaba la secundaria en Portugal, lo reconocieron como el mejor estudiante del país al otorgarle el “Prémio Nacional dos Liceus”. Tras estudiar ingeniería en la universidad, comenzó a ejercer de docente. ¿Podría explicarnos qué significa para usted la educación a nivel personal?

António Guterres: Mucho antes de trabajar para las Naciones Unidas o la administración pública, ejercí de docente. Observé que, en los barrios marginales de Lisboa, la educación contribuye a la erradicación de la pobreza y al fomento de la paz. En la actualidad, la educación constituye un elemento esencial de los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible. Mediante ella, conseguiremos reducir las desigualdades, alcanzar la igualdad de género, proteger nuestro planeta, luchar contra el discurso de odio y promover la ciudadanía mundial. Para cumplir nuestro compromiso de que nadie se quede atrás, es preciso partir de la educación.

Educación No Puede Esperar: Tras la inestabilidad experimentada en 2020, ¿qué mensaje le gustaría trasmitir al mundo en estos primeros meses de 2021?

António Guterres: Después de un 2020 que nos trajo tragedias y peligros, el 2021 debe ser el año en que cambiemos de velocidad y pongamos el mundo en la senda correcta. La pandemia ha supuesto un punto de inflexión para todos. Podemos dejar atrás un annus horribilis para hacer del presente un annus possibilitatis: un año de posibilidades y esperanza. Debemos conseguirlo. Desde la unidad.


A girl attends a psychosocial support session where she shares her experience through drawings and short stories. Photo: UNICEF Uganda /Bongyereirwe

Q&A with Sarah Harrison, International Federation of the Red Cross, Co-Chair, Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Reference Group

In June 2020, ECW joined other donors in contributing funds to support the work of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC)’s Mental Health and Psychosocial  Support (MHPSS) Reference Group, through a consortium partnership with one of their Co-Chairing agencies: the International Federation of the Red Cross’ (IFRC) Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support.

In this time of pandemic, the IASC MHPSS Reference Group has played a key role in coordinating and taking immediate and rapid action to address children and adolescents’ wellbeing facing unprecedented school closures due to COVID-19.

 MHPSS is a core priority of ECW’s investments. It is at the centre of the Fund’s COVID-19 emergency responses in 33 crisis-affected countries and emergency settings in 2020 as well as in ECW’s Multi-Year Resilience Programmes in protracted crises.    

ECW: What are some of the MHPSS needs of children and adolescents who are out of school because of COVID-19 related school closures?

Sarah Harrison: Many children and adolescents living in humanitarian settings do not have access to what is necessary to meet their basic needs and protect themselves from the virus. For example, they do not have the ability to physically distance in multi-generational households, nor do they have access to clean water or healthcare when symptomatic. Similarly, many are unable to quarantine or stay home in isolation when weighed against need to obtain a family income and finding food to eat. 

Children out of school also have disrupted access to peers and other family members.  Social interaction and the formation of positive relationships are key to healthy child development.  The closure of informal learning spaces and schools, plus the lack of access to education for migrant children, denies children the safe space to develop positive social relationships, to play and learn with their peers, and to develop and practice social and cognitive skills.

ECW: The IFRC Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support and the IASC MHPSS Reference Group have published several key resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Can you tell us more about these?

Sarah Harrison: The IASC MHPSS Reference Group has produced a number of publications over the past 11 months in relation to COVID-19.  [All are available on the Reference Group website in multiple languages.] 

All products were developed with strong involvement of end users (humanitarian practitioners at country level – individual volunteers, caregivers, teachers, MHPSS staff from humanitarian organisations and affected populations for some products).  End users were consulted on the generation of content, reviewing content provided, providing input to graphic illustrations, translations, and the overall need for a product.

  • Briefing Note: Released in February 2020 in response to the virus outbreak in Eastern Asia, this Briefing Note was subsequently updated in March 2020 as the virus spread became more global. It is aimed at policy makers and programme planners.  

  • Basic Psychosocial Skills Guide:  Released in May 2020 to help agencies and frontline responders bridge the gap between providing immediate psychological first aid and the long term accompaniment and support for populations now that the impact of the virus has stretched out into months and potentially, years.  The guide was written in a pictographic/ illustrative way with frontline emergency responders and essential workers (e.g. delivery persons, police officers, community health & social care workers, shopkeepers, pharmacists) – anyone interacting with public and supporting essential services during the lockdown in respective countries.

  • Children’s storybook My Hero is You – and its country level initiatives/ adaptations:  Now available in over 131 languages, the book has undergone adaptations into animations with support from Stamford University, puppet shows in Iran, radio dramas in Gaza & Palestine, audio format in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, South Sudan, Niger and Myanmar (among many other countries), read by Royal families over the radio, TV & YouTube in many countries, a Braille version is available produced by a group of blind mothers from Zimbabwe as are multiple sign language versions.  [Learn more about how the book was made in this video].

    My Hero Is You is the most downloaded product on the IASC website and the fastest book to be translated ever into so many languages. A second book, Action for Heroes is now underway and focuses on the same characters and their return to regular activities and school, in addition to key facilitator notes for parents, children’s activity facilitators and teachers to use within their work.  

  • Operational Guidance Note on Multi-sectoral MHPSS Programmes: Released in May 2020, the note aims to help operational humanitarian organizations prioritize their MHPSS activities, to make judgment calls on which activities to continue and how to adapt them in relation to the severity of the virus outbreak.  It offers highly practical and operational guidance covering the full spectrum of MHPSS programming. 

ECW: Bearing in mind the lessons learned from COVID-19, what are your recommendations for the education sector to ‘build back better’?  

Sarah Harrison: Building back better requires governments and the international community enforce that education is open and accessible to all girls and boys on their territory – this means including children who are refugees, children who are migrants, children with disabilities alongside the ‘regular school-age population’. 

It means ensuring that schools are regarded as protected areas free from attacks: schools are free from bombing and unexploded ordnance/mines, children are not abducted from school or on their way to/from school, teachers learn positive discipline approaches, schools are not used by the military/armed interlocutors or used as temporary shelters for unnecessary lengths of time in natural disasters, etc.

Teachers also need to be paid fairly and on time – it is their right and feeds into teacher well-being.  A happier and healthier teacher is a more positive teacher and role model for children.  Additionally, creation of parent-teacher associations and groups to help address parent’s queries in relation to COVID-19, can reinforce the link between caregivers and their children’s education.

Finally, in order to ‘build back better’ the education sector will need to equip teachers with practical tools on how to manage children who present with behavioural challenges, how to help a distressed learner, how to talk about conflict and emergencies, how to talk about COVID-19 and its impacts, and how teachers can concretely change lessons plans and daily structure to adapt to children and adolescents who are coming back to school. 

UNHCR & Education Cannot Wait launch second phase of the Humanitarian Education Accelerator (HEA) – seeking promising education innovations that are ready to scale

Turning the commitments made on refugee education at the first Global Refugee Forum into concrete action requires innovative solutions, identifying what works and successfully scaling to meet the education needs of the millions of children who are living in emergency or crisis settings.

17 December 2020 – Following the success of the first iteration of the HEA, the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) Acceleration Facility is funding UNHCR $2.2 million to identify and support a further cohort of education innovations, in 5 countries: Chad, Ethiopia, Jordan, Lebanon and Uganda.

This second phase of the HEA will continue to address gaps in evidence and scaling capacity in humanitarian education, taking common elements from an accelerator – such as mentorship, internal capacity building and establishing a cohort that works together – and merging these with an evaluation-based programme. Through this unique approach, the HEA seeks to:

1- Build the evidence base on how to effectively scale education innovations in humanitarian settings, through investing in rigorous research;

2- Strengthen internal monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) processes and provide targeted support for selected organisations to navigate scale;

3-Assist organisations to build strong, supportive partnerships with governments, humanitarian and development actors, donors and other practitioners for sustainable scale;

4- Develop a community of practice, capturing knowledge and sharing lessons learned on scaling humanitarian education innovations, including the development of global public goods for the wider education sector. 

A call for applications for this new phase of the HEA will be released here on 17 December 2020, with a deadline for applications of 15 January 2021, using a stage-gated application process

  • Stage 1 (first week March): Capacity building by experts in scaling innovations, M&E and partnerships for up to ten innovations through a week-long Scaling Bootcamp;
  • Stage 2 (April – July 2021): Tailored mentorship and further capacity building support  on research, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) and scaling for five innovations over 3 months;
  • Stage 3 (August 2021-December 2022): Funding of up to USD 200,000 for the final 3 selected innovations – to be used towards internal capacity building in M&E and investments in research, project implementation and scaling.

More detailed information on eligibility criteria and the HEA selection process is available through our Applicants’ Guide and FAQs on

About the Humanitarian Education Accelerator (HEA): 
The HEA has been working since 2016, through an initial partnership with UNICEF and the UK Department for International Development, to support promising humanitarian education innovations on their journey from successful pilots to projects that can operate at scale – in order to reach more children and youth with quality education. 

Through capacity building in M&E and scaling, tailored mentorship and rigorous research on what does (and does not) work in humanitarian education, the HEA has built valuable evidence on the scaling process for education in crisis settings.

The HEA is managed by the UNHCR Global Education Section, which is based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Additional information about the lessons coming out of the HEA so far can be found here: HEA Learning Series

For press inquiries or additional information on HEA: Charlotte Jenner, HEA Communications & Reporting Officer:  

About Education Cannot Wait: 
ECW is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies. It was launched in 2016 by international aid actors, along with public and private donors, to address the urgent needs of 75 million children and youth whose education is disrupted by armed conflicts, disasters, and other crises. ECW provides rapid funding to immediately address needs in new and escalating crises and supports multi-year investments and stronger collaboration and coherence among emergency relief and development aid organizations to achieve quality education outcomes in protracted crises. 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. 

Additional information is available at:

For press inquiries:
Kent Page,, +1-917-302-1735
Anouk Desgroseilliers,, +1-917-640-6820

For any other inquiries: