EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT CALLS ON MEMBER STATES AND THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION TO INCREASE FUNDING FOR EDUCATION IN CRISIS
26 November 2018, Strasbourg – The European Parliament announced earlier this month new support for Education Cannot Wait, calling on the European Commission and Member States to increase funding for the new global fund for education in crisis.
In their resolution on European Union development assistance in the field of education, the Parliament welcomed the Commission’s objective of “devoting 10 per cent of the Union’s humanitarian aid to education from 2019.”
The resolution stresses that “education of refugee or displaced children must be regarded as a priority from the very outset; emphasizes the importance of supporting countries affected by fragility and conflict to improve the resilience of their education systems and guarantee access to quality education – including secondary education – for refugee children and young refugees, internally displaced children and their host communities.”
“EU’s landmark resolution shows European commitment to education in emergencies and protracted crisis. In line with the new EU Policy Framework approving 10% of education in emergencies and crisis in May this year, it follows years of EU leadership in making quality education for children and youth affected by conflicts and natural disasters a priority in humanitarian crisis,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, a new global Fund hosted by UNICEF dedicated to providing safe, reliable education for 8.9 million children living in crisis by 2021.
“The collective commitment to action is very inspiring,” said Sherif. “With the bold new EU policy framework and EU resolution, as well as the generous G7 Summit in Charlevoix for girls and women education in crisis, and now the outstanding Global Education Monitoring Report for 2019 spearheaded by UNESCO, we have all reason to be hopeful. We are hopeful that the financial needs to deliver quality education to 75 million children and youth in emergencies and crisis are fully materialized. Through collective commitments of this kind, we see a powerful and action-oriented promise for real change.”
EUROPEAN COUNCIL GIVES CLEAR POLICY ORIENTATION TO PRIORITIZE EDUCATION IN EMERGENCIES
The European Council set a strong policy agenda in support of education in emergencies and protracted crises in its Conclusions adopted on 26 November.
“The Council expresses its grave concern that more than 75 million children affected by emergencies and protracted crises have no access to quality education. The Council is equally concerned that violence is on the increase in and around the education environment. Education is a human right that must be upheld in all contexts as an essential means to help children and young people meet their full potential, to strengthen individual, community and country resilience, to achieve sustainable development and to ensure peaceful, inclusive and prosperous societies.”
The Council reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring access to inclusive lifelong learning and safe, equitable quality education and training at all levels in emergency and crisis situations. It also welcomed the comprehensive approach to education in emergencies and protracted crises, which includes preparedness, disaster risk reduction, prevention, mitigation, rapid response, and a commitment to building resilient education systems.
Providing education for girls and adolescent girls living in crisis and conflict is the single most powerful act we can take to empower a marginalized gender. As a global community committed to end violence against women, promote women leadership and ensure universal access to education, anything less would miss the target.
Providing education for girls and adolescent girls living in crisis and conflict is the single most powerful act we can take to empower a marginalized gender. As a global community committed to end violence against women, promote women leadership and ensure universal access to education, anything less would miss the target.
Providing access to safe, reliable and continuous education for girls and adolescent girls living in crisis is an essential stepping stone to eliminating violence against girls and women. It takes quality education to ensure that girls and adolescent girls are empowered to acquire new skills to thrive, exercise leadership and find productive employment in the fast-evolving work environment of the 21st Century. It also mitigates the risks for abuse and discrimination, while strengthening the odds for increased security, better opportunities and new chances to chart their lives forward.
Education Cannot Wait – a new global fund hosted by UNICEF – which will provide access to 8.9 million children living in crisis by 2021, including over 4.4 million girls – is making great strides to protect girls from violence across the globe by working with governments, leading non-profits, donors and other essential stakeholders to empower access to education for the millions of girls and adolescent girls living in refugee camps and displacement centers, and on the edge of crisis, war zones and emergencies.
To empower girls and adolescent girls, the ECW Fund is strengthening equity and gender equality, increasing access to education, promoting safe and protective learning environments, improving learning and skills for teachers, and ensuring greater continuity and sustainability for gender-responsive education responses in crisis settings.
Education Cannot Wait has reached more than 800,000 children and youth with quality education – of which 364,000 are girls – in 19 crisis-affected countries, such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh (Rohingya), the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and Ukraine, since it became operational in early 2017. With continued support from donors, the Fund will exceed its target with over 1 million children by the end of 2018.
The facts around violence against girls and women – especially girls and adolescent girls living in crisis – are simply astounding. Girls in crisis settings are 2.5 times more likely to be out of primary school and 90 per cent more likely to be out of secondary school than those living in countries where there is no crisis. Analysis from 2015 indicates that 39 million girls were out of school or had their education disrupted because of war and disaster.
By providing vulnerable girls and adolescent girls with education, empowering female teachers, strengthening protection and promoting policies that connect gender-responsive approaches to education in emergencies, Education Cannot Wait bridges the humanitarian-development divide, particularly in protracted crises, and links urgent humanitarian needs to sustainable and systemic change.
“For girls and adolescent girls enduring crisis and conflict, we have to be especially firm and principled in our approach, because they are also subject to additional discrimination simply because of their gender. The best we can do to serve them is to deliver on our promise of quality education, which also entails protection and targeted measures to ensure access, equality and continuity,” said Sherif.
BRIDGING THE GAP TO PREVENT VIOLENCE
Integrated responses are required to build safer schools – some schools in refugee camps, displacement centers and on the edge of conflict and emergencies have become targets for violent attacks, while others have seen reports of sexual violence against both boys and girls.
In Afghanistan, Chad and Ethiopia, Education Cannot Wait funding has helped spur a comprehensive combination of interventions focused on training teachers, community engagement, protection measures and the rehabilitation and construction of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities for girls.
In Afghanistan 2.2 million girls lack adequate teaching facilities and women teachers – that’s more people than live in Botswana today. With support from Education Cannot Wait and a new three-year programme that will reach over 500,000 children, including a quarter of a million girls, teachers are being recruited and trained to work in refugee and displacement camps.
“Teaching these girls is a wonderful opportunity for me. I am also glad to see that many girls are encouraged to resume their classes when female teachers are available,” said Ms. Paria, whose class has seen 40 girls return to school thanks to the recruitment of their new biology teacher as well as extended community activism to ensure more equitable education.
In the Lake Chad Region, where 3.5 million children are at risk and violent attacks on girls, forced marriages and abductions are commonplace, Education Cannot Wait has already reached over 100,000 girls.
For bright-eyed dreamers like the 16-year-old Aisha who lives in the Dar es Salam Camp in Chad, new educational opportunities provide a renewed sense of security.
“”Here in Dar es Salam [camp], we have food to eat, we go to school, we play with friends, we feel safe,” said Aisha.
By 2021, Education Cannot Wait plans to reach 8.9 million children living in crisis. Approximately 50 percent of these children will be girls and adolescent girls, with plans for two-thirds of teacher training to be directed to females. That means over 4.4 million girls – more than the total population of Gabon and Slovenia combined – will have the knowledge, power and skills training they need to stand up against violence and build a better world for generations to come.
SUSTAINED SUPPORT FROM GERMANY ENSURES QUALITY, RELIABLE EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN LIVING IN THE WORLD’S MOST SERIOUS CRISES
20 November 2018, New York – The Government of Germany announced today a substantial 15 million euros (US$ 17 million) pledge for Education Cannot Wait, a new global fund dedicated to respond rapidly and provide sustainable quality education to millions of children and youth living in crisis worldwide.
The new pledge adds to Germany’s initial 16 million euros ($US18.7 million) contribution to Education Cannot Wait, providing a total of 31 million euros ($35.7 million) in contributions to date and making Germany the third largest donor to the Fund. Today’s announcement is an important milestone for the coalition of donors, United Nations (UN) agencies and civil society partners working together through Education Cannot Wait, as it ensures the Fund reaches its 2018 target – on its way to a total first funding goal to mobilize US$1.8 billion over the 2018-2021 period.
The announcement was made at the launch of UNESCO’s 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report in Berlin, Germany. “Education and training are the keys with which to unlock development. Yet there are still 75 million children and young people caught up in crisis and emergency situations who have no way to get an education. We must act now, with resolution and determination, otherwise they will grow up without any prospects” said Dr. Gerd Müller, the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development.
“My goal is to invest 25 per cent of the development ministry’s budget in education and vocational training. As the next step we are launching a special initiative on training and job creation, setting up new training and jobs partnerships with German and African businesses. At the same time we are strengthening the international education fund for children in emergency situations with an investment of 15 million euros. This money will be used to fund school books in Yemen or to support 60,000 children in Indonesia following the devastating tsunami, so that they can still be taught” said Müller.
Education Cannot Wait has reached more than 800,000 children and youth with quality education – of which 364,000 are girls – in 19 crisis-affected countries since it became operational in early 2017. With continued support from donors, the Fund, hosted by UNICEF, will exceed its target with over 1 million children by the end of 2018.
“This generous pledge further confirms the global role of Germany in showing compassion, generosity and concrete support to those furthest left behind. This funding will accelerate our determined joint efforts to reach 8.9 million children and youth in emergencies and protracted crisis by 2021 and fill the US$8.5 billion funding gap for education in crises” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait.
“The millions of children and youth silently struggling in crisis who do not have access to quality education today sustain themselves by dreaming of one. This renewed pledge from the government of Germany may be the realization of that dream. It signals a continued commitment to achieve our goals for equitable education for every boy and girl on the planet by 2030 as outlined in the sustainable development goals” she said.
Education Cannot Wait is the first and only global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises countries. In partnership with donors, UN agencies, civil society, national governments and other key actors, the Fund is pioneering a new way of working that establishes education as the point of convergence in the humanitarian-development nexus to rapidly deliver agile, well-coordinated and sustainable quality education through collective efforts for children and youth in war zones, emergency areas and other crisis hot spots.
Education Cannot Wait has invested $134.5 million in 19 crisis-affected countries to date. These include 16 First Emergency Response allocations to countries facing sudden-onset or escalating crises, such as a recently announced programme to support children impacted by the tsunami and earthquakes in Indonesia. Four countries have been targeted by Education Cannot Wait’s two-year Initial Investments Programmes to date. The Fund also recently announced its first seed funding to roll out innovative multi-year programmes in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Uganda, while such mulit-year programmes are also planned in 20 other crisis-affected countries by 2021.
“By catalyzing agile, responsive and jointly planned programmes, education cannot wait ensures taxpayers’ money or strategic donor investments get to the people in need rapidly and sustainably,” Sherif said. “Education Cannot Wait brings all partners together to respond without delay and to remain until every child and young person have benefited from their non-negotiable right to quality education. Refugee, internally displaced or war-affected, both girls and boys, disabled and other-abled, make up the 75 million with a right to education in conflict and disasters. Thanks to Germany’s generous and continued contribution, their right, their dream, may come true.”
Children and youth in fragile and conflict affected countries are 30 per cent less likely to complete primary education and half as likely to complete lower-secondary education than other children. Indeed, conflict widens education inequalities, particularly gender and wealth disparities, derailing global efforts to build a more peaceful world.
“For a little over a $100 a year, a child or an adolescent living and growing up in the abnormal and testing circumstances of conflict and disasters will be able to get the quality education they deserve and need to give them hope, to give them a future,” said Sherif. “Now is the time to invest in these children and youth. Their education cannot wait. If our intention is to make a difference, we need to act today. Because, tomorrow might be too late.”
In a major boost to the education response of the Rohingya refugee crisis, the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) fund is allocating US$12 million to support 88,500 refugee and host community children and adolescents. The fund is being awarded to UNICEF, UNESCO and UNHCR to ensure a common vision for education and continued access to quality learning.
“Education is a long-term investment in any context. Within the Rohingya refugee crisis, education plays an even more vital role. It ensures children’s protection. It is also a lifeline of hope for children and young people living in a very unpredictable situation. ECW is making a major investment in their future,” says James Lynch, UNHCR Regional Representative and Acting Representative in Bangladesh.
The launch was announced from an ECW supported learning centre in the Rohingya refugee camps earlier today, in the presence of 50 children, parents, teachers, government, UN and NGO representatives.
When asked about his learning centre, 8-year-old Rohingya boy Amin said “diley shanti pai – I feel peace in my soul.”
For Amin and many others, time spent at the learning centre is the highlight of their day. Rohingya children attend classes for two hours each day to learn English, Burmese, mathematics and life skills. However, teaching hours will be expanded to four hours per day with the rollout of the new education programme.
“We are dealing with a refugee population which has been denied the right to education for a very long time. Over the past year, we have witnessed incredible changes in the children attending classes in the refugee camps. Children who were quiet and reserved have grown in confidence, they have learned new skills in a safe, protective environment and achieved a sense of normality. We must continue to nurture their talents and prospects for a brighter future,” says Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in Bangladesh.
Over 2,000 teachers will benefit from professional development programmes through the multi-year ECW grant to ensure quality education that can sustain and save lives, providing safe learning environments, psychosocial support for children and youth. In particular, the programme will focus on training female teachers and meeting the specific needs of girls and boys and of children and adolescents with disabilities. This includes measures to prevent and address gender-based violence.
In host communities, emphasis will be placed on strengthening education systems to improve quality in public schools. Cox’s Bazar has one of the highest rates in the country of primary and secondary age children out of school. The ECW grant will invest in strengthening access to education, retention of students and increasing performance levels.
“ECW’s support will enable us to enhance the quality of the education delivered. We will train more teachers with an improved syllabus and learning materials. We can expand the network of our reach to close the gap on the Rohingya children and youth we are currently unable to reach in the refugee camps,” highlights Beatrice Kaldun, UNESCO Representative in Bangladesh.
At the onset of the refugee crisis, ECW donated US$3 million to establish emergency education services in the Rohingya camps. This US$12 million contribution builds on the earlier support and aligns with a broader framework of support for education facilitated by ECW. The estimated additional cost to deliver this education program in 2019 is almost US$60 million. ECW is calling upon other donors and partners to step up to the plate and provide further financing to fill the gap.
“This funding builds on the first emergency investment made by Education Cannot Wait (ECW) during the initial months of the Rohingya arrivals in 2017. We will not give up on these children and youth now, as they start to recover from the painful experiences in the recent past. On the contrary, now is the time to sustain and expand their access to education, which also means to continue providing a healing and protective environment,” says Yasmine Sherif, Director of ECW.
The press release is also available at the following links:
CHILDREN LIVING IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC’S DISPLACEMENT CAMPS FIND A PATHWAY TO EDUCATION
Jospin is a 13-year-old boy living in the Kaga Bandoro Internal Displacement Camp in the Central African Republic (CAR). He came here almost four years ago by foot with his mother, father and seven brothers and sisters. Like many of the 680,000 people who have been displaced by wide-scale uptick in violence in CAR, Jospin had never been to school.
“I think I am 13 but my birth certificate was lost when they burnt my house. I am from a village 17 kilometers away, on the road to Kabo. Three years ago, we fled the village on foot. We sought refuge on Kaga Bandoro’s church site, then on the internally displaced persons site near the [United Nations Peacekeeping Base] when the church was attacked. I had never been to school before becoming an Internally Displaced Person. I started going to school for the first time here and I love it. I am in 3rd grade now. I have decided to become a doctor because once I was sick and I went to the hospital and this big man, the doctor, treated me. He was very kind. So, I have decided to become a doctor, too, so I can help my people one day.”
The new Kaga Bandoro school, supported in part with funding from Education Cannot Wait, has 11 classes and 1,675 registered children. All the 11 teachers are themselves displaced and live on the site.
“I teach 80 children in the 4th year of primary school. Now I see that many of these children have become advocates for their friends, they convince the parents to send the children to school,” said 52-year-old widow and mother of five, Elizabeth, who was displaced over four years ago and now works as a teacher in the Kaga Bandoro school.
Despite this progress, huge challenges remain. With the constant displacement of populations due to insecurity in the region and a steady flow of refugees and internally displaced people, resources are stretching thin in Kaga Bandoro’s school. On a recent Education Cannot Wait mission to the school, more than 80 children were in attendance in one of the temporary classrooms, which only had 40 children just the week before.
Recent estimates from UNICEF indicate that more than 357,400 children lost access to education, health and protection services due to the violence and protracted crisis in CAR.
PROVIDING SUSTAINED SUPPORT FOR EDUCATION IN EMERGENCIES IN CAR
To date, Education Cannot Wait’s initial US$6 million allocation has reached an estimated 65,000 children, 31,000 of whom are girls. The support in CAR extends across a broad range of activities, designed through local engagement, to build lasting solutions to one of the world’s most significant education crisis today.
The funding from Education Cannot Wait is working to provide a range of formal and non-formal education opportunities for out-of-school children in the central and northern areas of the country.
Coalition partners are also implementing specific interventions focused on early childhood education, as well as youth-focused activities that incorporate basic literacy and mathematics alongside vocational and life skills training. In addition, both UNICEF and INTERSOS are focusing on the quality of education by providing materials to both children and teachers, and building local technical capacity to provide education in emergency contexts. The Norwegian Refugee Council also implemented a successful “Accelerated Learning Programme,” allowing primary school children to catch up on schooling missed due to their displacement.
Building on these initial results, Education Cannot Wait is now focusing on kick-starting a new multi-year programme that will provide sustained support for education in emergencies in CAR. Discussions are underway with high-level government officials to outline the immediate needs for support, also connecting with a variety of stakeholders, including UN representatives, NGOs, and boys and girls whose lives have been uprooted by crisis.
BUILDING MULTI-YEAR RESPONSES
“The development of the Multi-Year Response Programme is already serving as a resource mobilization tool with potential funding being discussed with key donors, including the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department (ECHO) and the Central African Republic Humanitarian Fund, building toward a goal of mobilizing some US$75 million for the three-year programme,” said Education Cannot Wait Senior Advisor Graham Lang, after a recent mission to CAR.
The education system in CAR faces structural challenges that can only be addressed through multi-year programming connecting practical on-the-ground work to build schools, provide supplies and fund teachers, with longer-reaching policy and support programmes to build capacity, improve teacher training and create the enabling environments required for long-term sustainability.
It will be an uphill battle in CAR. Prior to the crisis only 67 per cent of children were attending school, and in 2009 it was estimated that only 35 per cent of the population was literate.
Elizabeth has already taken on the battle: “We have the responsibility to teach these children and make sure they do not become bandits. If they do not go to school, what will become of them?” she says.
“Through sustained and more collaborative efforts among donors, humanitarian and development aid actors and with the Government, this is a fight we must win, as the future of an entire nation is at stake,” said Lang.
MILLIONS OF BOYS AND GIRLS ARE AT RISK – IN CHAD, WE FIND STORIES OF HOPE AND REDEMPTION ON THE EDGE OF ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST-PRESSING HUMANITARIAN SITUATIONS
The numbers of displaced children, refugee children, and children living without access to education in the Lake Chad Region are staggering. Violence in the region has closed 1,000 schools, and educational opportunities for 3.5 million children are at risk.
To put these astounding numbers into context, 3.5 million is about the number of people that live in Connecticut today, and it’s the total population of Uruguay.
One of those 3.5 million children is Ibrahim Mahamadou. Ibrahim could be your son, or your nephew, or your cousin. Bright-eyed and energetic, Ibrahim is seven now. When he arrived in the Dar es Salam Refugee Camp in Chad, it was the first time he’d ever attended school in his life.
“I like going to school because I make a lot of friends. We learn how to read, to write and to count. We play and we get lots of presents too,” said Ibrahim.
With support from a broad international coalition and the Government of Chad, Education Cannot Wait, a newly created global fund for education in crisis, has already reached over 150,000 children like Ibrahim in Chad. This includes 69,000 girls. In the neighboring Central African Republic, the Fund has reached some 65,000 children, including 31,802 girls, and a newly announced US$2.5 million grant will reach some 194,000 displaced children in Nigeria, 52 per cent of whom are girls.
“When you look at the scale of this tragedy, we are only scratching the surface. Much more needs to be done if we are going to reduce human suffering and address the root causes of the crisis. Education is an absolute priority and it is the most reliable and sustainable solution to empower a new generation who will be responsible for socio-economic development, peace and stability in the region,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait. The Fund is currently helping to facilitate the development of a new multi-year education programme by aid organizations in coordination with the Government of Chad to deliver reliable education for the boys and girls enduring the consequences of the rampant violence in the region.
The Lake Chad crisis – affecting the countries of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria – is characterized by ongoing violence, population displacement and loss of livelihood. Forced conscription of child soldiers, abuse and sexual violence, among other atrocities are being reported at alarming rates. Hundreds of thousands of families have fled the violence, drought and the real-and-present risk of famine, across the border to Chad from the Central African Republic, Nigeria and Sudan, leaving millions of children in need of educational support.
HOPE ON THE HORIZON
But in the eye of the storm, there is hope. The Government of Chad has demonstrated a strong willingness to receive refugees and integrate them into the Chadian system, and in the refugee camps, boys and girls are finding safety and security.
Aisha Mahamadou came to the Dar es Salam Refugee camp in January 2015, fleeing a Boko Haram attack on her village near Baga, Nigeria. She was one of the lucky ones, as hundreds of civilians were reportedly killed. Boko Haram is also well known for their practice of capturing girls and forcing them into marriage – essentially a form of modern-day slavery that has people frightened and unwilling to send their girls to school for fear of kidnapping.
“Here in Dar es Salam [camp], we have food to eat, we go to school, we play with friends, we feel safe. When I get older, I would like to become a doctor to look after sick people,” said Aisha.
To support children like Aisha and Ibrahim, Education Cannot Wait worked with Chad’s Ministry of National Education and Civic Promotion and UNICEF, engaging through the UNICEF partnership with international NGOs including Fondazione Acra, the Jesuit Refugee Service and Refugee Education Trust International, to support the delivery of sustainable, equitable and inclusive quality education services for children and youth from within the refugee and host communities.
Through a US$10 million grant, community mobilization activities have taken place and classrooms have been built, boys and girls have received backpacks and school supplies, teachers have been hired and trained, and students have begun attending classes – sometimes for the first time in their life.
“Last year we studied in the tents. When there was too much sandy wind, the teachers used to send us back home. We could not even hear what he said. Now, we study in new classrooms, and we come to school happy,” said 12-year-old Kaka Mahamat, who lives now in the Dar es Salam Camp.
Over 2,500 teachers have been trained through the programme, and many teachers received subsidies during a prolonged teacher strike to ensure continued education for children like Kaka.
“They killed my son and burned my house in Nigeria. I really have nothing left there. Teaching helps me to take my mind off things. They say Western education is sinful but I believe every child has a right to education especially learning languages, this is what will help them support their communities,” said Malam Sani, who teaches First Grade in the Dar es Salam Camp.
“The Government of Chad, at both the central and decentralized levels, has played a key role in coping with constantly changing realities and protecting the boys and girls that are most at risk,” said Sherif. “As we build on our initial investment and look to more integrated multi-year programming, we will continue our engagement with the community and government to mainstream and accelerate these pilot interventions, addressing both the immediate and long-term needs in the education sector. Only then can we ensure that no child is left behind, but rather at the center and front of our collective efforts.”
EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT DELIVERS US$2.6 MILLION TO PROVIDE EMERGENCY EDUCATION RELIEF FOR CHILDREN IMPACTED BY INDONESIA TSUNAMI
To re-establish education for 60,000 children, Education Cannot Wait partners with Government of Indonesia, UNICEF and Save the Children, to provide temporary learning spaces, educational supplies, coordinated responses and training for teachers
31 October 2018, New York – To provide immediate relief for the boys and girls whose lives have been shattered by the devastating 28 September earthquakes and tsunami in Indonesia, Education Cannot Wait announced today a US$2.6 million first emergency response allocation that will benefit over 60,000 children and youth.
Recent estimates from national authorities indicate that over 2,000 lives have been lost in the disaster, which displaced more than 200,000 people and directly impacted more than 160,000 students.
“A tsunami is a horrible experience that renders people and communities completely powerless. There is no mercy. The devastating tragedy in Indonesia is ripping families apart and disrupting the life of children and youth in the most painful ways. We need to get these boys and girls back in safe and secure learning environments immediately. It is about restoring the safe foundation and necessary lifeline for children without delay and thus their education cannot wait,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, a new global Fund that seeks to raise US$1.8 billion to provide access to quality, reliable education for 8.9 million children living in crisis and emergencies by 2021.
“By providing immediate support to re-establish education for these children and youth, we are taking an important first step in returning the people of Indonesia to normalcy and in contributing to a sustainable humanitarian response that protects and brings hope” Sherif said.
Through ECW’s funding, 910 temporary classrooms will be established, and children and teachers will receive educational supplies. An additional 2,700 teachers – of whom 75 per cent are female – will be trained so they can provide the necessary psychosocial support for these children, who have lost their homes, and sometimes their parents and loved-ones in this disaster. The intervention will target the most vulnerable girls and boys, including orphans, children who experienced severe traumas, children living in poverty and children with disabilities. Ensuring safe and inclusive access to schools is a priority for Education Cannot Wait, and over 50 per cent of the beneficiaries will be girls.
While the intervention will largely focus on getting children back in safe and reliable learning environments, additional support will be provided to conduct a rapid education impact and needs assessment, create a back-to-school campaign, and ensure a coordinated and integrated response between the various agencies and first responders on the ground under the overall coordination of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
At least 1,185 schools – from early childhood learning centers to secondary schools – have been directly affected in four districts of Sulawesi, according to the latest figures from UNICEF. In all, some 1.5 million people have been affected, and observations from local sources show a high number of separated and unaccompanied children, as well as missing children and teachers.
With children out of school since the earthquake, many of the basic human needs that are connected with safe learning environments – including school meals, child protection, safety from sexual abuse, and access to hygiene and sanitation facilities – have been limited, further exacerbating existing health and nutrition factors affecting Indonesia’s children.
The 12-month projects will be implemented by UNICEF and the local chapter of Save the Children (YSTC) in close collaboration with other partners including the localized entities of World Vision (WVI) and Plan International (YPII). All activities will be implemented in coordination with the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture through the Safe School Secretariat, which has already allocated approximately US$28 million for the response, rehabilitation and recovery in the education sector.
CHILDREN RETURNING HOME TO BENEFIT FROM US$2.5 MILLION IN FUNDING TO REHABILITATE 50 CLASSROOMS AND BUILD CAPACITY FOR 800 TEACHERS
New York, 10 October 2018 – Connecting a broad international coalition that includes Plan International, Save the Children, Street Child and UNICEF, Education Cannot Wait announced a new allocation totaling US$2.49 million to provide safe and equitable access to education for 194,000 conflict-affected children – 52 per cent of whom are girls – in the Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States of North East Nigeria.
The overall emergency education package includes US$210,000 for Plan International, US$249,999 for Save the Children, US$230,000 for Street Child, and US$1.8 million for UNICEF.
The 12-month programme coordinated by the Education Cluster in North East Nigeria in partnership with the Government of Nigeria, will support capacity building for 800 teachers and rehabilitate 50 classrooms. In all, 116,400 internally displaced children and 77,600 children permanently settled in these regions will be targeted with the intervention, which will provide educational supplies, permanent schools, basic humanitarian support, and training for teachers to promote the psycho-social development of these war-affected students.
“This support is essential in responding to the immediate needs of the people of North East Nigeria,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, a new global Fund that has already reached close to 1 million children living in conflict. “Education for all cannot be an afterthought in crisis. This First Emergency Response is just the beginning of our efforts to break the cycle of poverty and violence in the region, and protect boys and girls returning from conflict and still living with the scars of war. As we scale up this work through multi-year investments along with other local, national and international actors, we will expand our support to include more comprehensive actions to reach the estimated 1.8 million children in the region in need of this targeted support.”
The conflict in North East Nigeria and neighbouring states has been devastating, with schools and children often targeted in violent attacks.
“Girls were raped, children were forced into violent extremism, teachers were murdered, and families were ripped apart by this protracted crisis,” said Sherif. “If we are to reach our goal for universal, inclusive and equitable education for all as outlined by world leaders in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, immediate action needs to happen – not just in Nigeria, but across the globe.”
Since the rise of armed conflict in 2009, some 1,400 schools have been damaged or destroyed in Nigeria. In Borno State alone, 57 per cent of schools remain closed today.
According to Human Rights Watch, in some cases students recruited by Boko Haram attacked their own schools and killed their own teachers. An estimated 19,000 teachers have been displaced by conflict in Nigeria since 2009, with 2,295 killed in the violence.
“Without teachers and without schools, the children of this region have very limited opportunities. To halt the continued scourge of violent extremism in the region – and protect our most valuable natural resource, our children – we’ve partnered with key actors in this humanitarian response phase to help rehabilitate schools, train teachers, provide essential educational supplies and get boys and girls back in safe and secure educational environments,” Sherif said.
The situation in North East Nigeria continues to be a highly complex humanitarian crisis. With 7.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, including 4.3 million children who remain the primary victims of the ongoing conflict.
“This First Emergency Response funding is specifically designed for sudden onset crises or escalations of existing emergencies such as what we are seeing in North East Nigeria and neighboring states today,” said Sherif. “This is a start, but the magnitude of the crisis requires specific, extensive, multi-year engagements to get Nigeria’s boys and girls back in safe schools and help them recover from years of conflict.”
Education Cannot Wait has been operational for just over a year, the new global Fund was created to mobilize US$1.84 billion in funding by 2021 to provide reliable and quality education to 8.9 million children affected by crisis.
The future of our humanity relies on the young generation. In a world that still bares the deep wounds of war, hunger, displacement, conflict and inequalities, we need to step up to find lasting solutions for our next generation of leaders and citizens of the world. At the heart of our resolve lies quality education to the 75 million children and youth living in conflict and crisis. Their potentials and contribution to our shared future warrant urgent attention.
I am heartened that the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly kicked off with a strong commitment for the world’s young people. The launch of the Youth2030: United Nations Youth Strategy, including its Generation Unlimited initiative, helps build momentum toward a world in which the human rights of every young person are realized, and where education is delivered to young people no matter where they are – be it in a displacement settlement in Afghanistan, in one of Uganda’s refugee camps, or in a Rohingya refugee settlement in Bangladesh.
Having served in conflicts and crisis for nearly 30 years, and as a mother of two young people, I feel especially passionate about the United Nations Youth Strategy and its immediate correlation to quality education.
Young people hold the key to humanity’s future – and yet, they too often bear the brunt of today’s conflicts and crisis. Our conscience cannot bear for much longer the fact that 75 million children and youth in crisis do not have access to the quality education required to achieve their potentials, all while they are exposed to exploitation, forced recruitment into armed groups, trafficking, sexual violence and disabilities caused by mines, unexploded ordnances and violence of all forms. This cannot continue, or else we all will lose our humanity.
Look at Syria, where there are now over 2.5 million internally displaced children and adolescents. These boys and girls have no easy way out, and limited opportunities for education, skills training or alternatives to violence. An additional 2.6 million Syrian children are refugees in neighboring countries. Despite their commendable efforts to meet refugees’ educational needs – such as the double-shift school system put in place in Lebanon – without additional international support, host countries lack the required resources to offer quality education and skills training to all refugee children and youth.
The numbers from Syria are simply appalling, and these are just a glimpse of the urgent needs that exist in some 30 crisis-affected countries worldwide. If immediate action is not taken, we are likely to see more violence, more extremism and more broken dreams for an entire lost generation.
Globally, an estimated 40 percent of child soldiers are girls. Girls – particularly adolescent girls – living in conflict and crisis areas face higher risks of sexual violence, abduction, slavery, early and forced marriage, and early pregnancies.
Better wages for teachers, better opportunities and protection for girls to access education, more adequate and relevant educational opportunities to gain employment, and more creative solutions-orientation will be required. This is notably the case in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, which has the highest youth unemployment rate in the world – 29.4 per cent in Northern Africa and 24.7 per cent in the Arab States. The unemployment rate for young women in the region is even higher, with 4 out of 10 facing unemployment.
Special attention needs to be paid to building a generation unlimited not just for boys, but also for girls. We need to step up our support to education for refugees, internally displaced populations, as well as for minorities and young people with disabilities.
Together with our humanitarian and development partners across the United Nations system, the private sector, multilateral and bilateral donors, regional bodies, governments, non-governmental organizations and civil society, ECW works to achieve precisely this: empower crisis-affected children and youth to become positive agents of change, peace, conflict resolution and sustainable development.
The groundbreaking ECW-facilitated multi-year resilience programmes for education in crisis pioneer the “new way of working” and education in the humanitarian and development nexus. It brings the voices of young crisis-affected people to center stage, as our collaborative and localized approach includes consultations with affected people to shape and adapt the responses to children and young people’s needs, as well as their untapped resilience.
Girls and young women are ECW’s absolute top-priority because they are the ones left furthest behind. Their education and empowerment cannot wait any longer. Nearly half of the 800,000 children and youth reached by ECW thus far in 17 crisis-affected countries are girls and adolescent girls, because ECW and our partners focus on gender-targeted interventions to reach the furthest behind. For example, it means recruiting female teachers for biology and science, and moving schools closer to girls’ communities; it means involving parents and educators to promote safe hygiene and non-violent discipline, and it means applying gender-sensitive curriculums.
As a global fund addressing the education gap in crisis and conflict settings, ECW is committed to contribute to advancing the United Nations Youth Agenda. ECW was created to ensure the young, bright minds who are enduring crisis will no longer be left behind. Together with our partners, we are determined to deliver on this promise and ensure that the resilience, strength and determination of young people in crisis do not get lost in the darkness of wars and disasters, but rather become a beacon of light in making the world a better place.
EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT WELCOMES OCHA UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL, GERMANY AND THE WORLD BANK GROUP TO ITSHIGH-LEVEL STEERING GROUP MEETING
4 October 2018, New York – Education leaders on the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) High-Level Steering Group, chaired by United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown, approved the fund’s $1.8 billion resource mobilization target for the period of its 2018-2021 Strategic Plan at their biannual meeting on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September in New York.
This financial target underpins ECW’s goal for its investments to be reaching 8.9 million children and youth in 25 priority countries affected by crisis by 2021 with quality education, improving their learning outcomes and enhancing their socio-emotional wellbeing and employability.
ECW’s Director, Yasmine Sherif, briefed the High-Level Steering Group (HLSG) on the latest achievements of ECW, highlighting the fund is on track to reach 1 million children and youth in 17 crisis-affected countries by the end of 2018 – 48 per cent of whom are girls. The Chair highlighted ECW’s latest allocation of US$35 million in seed funding to launch multi-year programmes in Uganda, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Brown also stressed ECW’s urgent need to raise $285 million in 2018-2019 to support the launch of additional planned multi-year programmes.
Participants discussed next steps for ECW as the fund scales up its support for education in crisis. They stressed the importance to increase educational support for girls living in crisis, extend support in protracted crisis, promote psychosocial services, focus on host communities, connect education in crisis with long-term development, ensure better services and inclusion of refugees and increase multi-year programmatic support.
Participating in the High-Level Steering Group meeting for the first time were Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (OCHA), along with high-level representatives from the World Bank and Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Netherlands and Dubai Cares announced new pledges of $17.5 million and $3.75 million respectively, while Sweden reiterated its $30 million contribution announced earlier this year. Later during the UN General Assembly week, Denmark announced a new $46 million pledge and Norway announced an additional $2.5 million increasing its 2018 contribution to a total $10 million, bringing the total new pledges to ECW during the week to $70 million. The World Bank noted its interest to formally join the ECW partnership.
“Access to education is a human right and its essential to ensure education for refugees,” said State Secretary of Norway Jens Frølich Holte in an address to the High-Level Meeting on Action for Refugee Education. “Norway, together with other important partners, took the initiative to increase support to education in emergencies and protracted crisis. This resulted in the launch of the global fund Education Cannot Wait, which you all know. And we were, and still are, very impressed with what has been achieved since it has been established in 2016. So impressed that just before we got here to New York, we decided to allocate 40 million krone [US$2.5 million] more to Education Cannot Wait. And we are very eager to keep on collaborating with Education Cannot Wait because the needs are great.”
Speaking on the “Humanitarian-Development Nexus” OCHA’s Mark Lowcock pointed out that joining humanitarian and development systems together is a top priority for the UN. He underscored the importance of multi-year humanitarian funding and that every humanitarian dollar invested needs to impact development. Lowcock also stressed that that modest progress was made in financing education needs in the humanitarian appeals system, but gaps to meet education needs in emergency contexts remain huge.
The next HLSG meeting will be held in April 2019 in Washington on the margins of the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings.
Meeting Participants (in alphabetical order):
Chair: Gordon Brown, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education,
Tariq Al Gurg, CEO, (Dubai Cares), Harriet Baldwin, Minister of State for Africa and International Development (United Kingdom) Tanya Barron, CEO (Plan International), Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development (Canada), Dean Brooks, Director, (Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies), Julie Cram, Deputy Assistant Administrator of the E3 Bureau USAID (United States), Henrietta Fore, Executive Director (UNICEF), Birgit Frank, Deputy Head of the Education Division of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Germany), Julia Gillard, Chair (Global Partnership for Education), Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education (UNESCO), Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Martin Bille Hermann, State Secretary for Development Policy (Denmark), Jens Frølich Holte, State Secretary (Norway), Anna Maria Alida Hoogenboom, Country Director (Novamedia / People’s Postcode Lottery), Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development (Netherlands), Dr. Justin Lee, First Assistant Secretary, Multilateral Policy Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia), Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (OCHA), Stefano Manservisi, Director-General, International Cooperation and Development (European Commission), Johannes Oljelund, Director-General for Development (Sweden), Jamie Saavedra, Senior Director for the Education Global Practice (The World Bank Group), Yasmine Sherif, Director (Education Cannot Wait), Helle Thorning-Schmiedt, CEO (Save the Children)