Finance and Speed of ECW’s Response
ECW responded rapidly and decisively to the global crisis, initiating a plan just two weeks after the first COVID-19 case appeared in an ECW-supported country. Within just 21 days, ECW allocated $23 million from its First Emergency Response (FER) reserve and an additional $22.4 million was approved in July 2020. Some 75% of COVID-19 FERs were distributed within eight weeks, making this ECW’s most rapid disbursement of funds to date. In all, ECW approved $45.4 million in 2020 for disbursement to 32 countries and emergency contexts to immediately respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reach of ECW’s Response
ECW’s rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic allowed the greatest possible number of students to be reached with interventions before education loss irreversibly changed their futures. These interventions included distance-learning opportunities, COVID-19 awareness activities, distribution of health and hygiene products and teacher training to better facilitate distance learning, adhere to and implement COVID-19 protocols, and promote health and hygiene standards.
The United Nations estimates that since March 2020, over 1.5 billion children have experienced a prolonged interruption in education during the pandemic caused by school closures. ECW’s rapid COVID-19 response contributes to ensuring that some of the world’s most vulnerable girls, boys and adolescents are able to continue their education following school closures via alternative forms of (distance) learning. ECW continues to support those children, adolescents and communities who have been doubly affected – by pre-existing crises and the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is expected that increased funding will be necessary in the coming years to address the repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis on the most vulnerable children and youth. ECW continues to work to alleviate COVID-19’s impact on education for crisis-affected girls, boys and adolescents, ensuring that no child is left behind.