Awareness Must Rise: Action Cannot Wait

Director's Corner
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Just weeks ago, the Geneva Global Hub for Education in Emergencies was inaugurated. Thanks to the Government of Switzerland, Education Cannot Wait and key partners have taken a major leap forward in strengthening collaboration to accelerate crucial education in emergencies and protracted crises response.

Extending the global reach of our New York headquarters, we now share offices with the education in emergency community in Geneva, the humanitarian capital of the United Nations. Our actions will be even closer to the millions of crisis-affected children and youth whom we serve.

Nevertheless, as Director-General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Ambassador Patricia Danzi, states in her interview with ECW in this month’s Newsletter, “Awareness has to rise”, because the world needs to understand better that if education is not delivered in a timely, effective manner, human capital will be lost. This compelling call for action must be heeded and inspire us all.

Yasmine Sherif interacting with students during ECW's recent mission to Afghanistan. Photo Credit: Education Cannot Wait / 2021
Yasmine Sherif interacting with students during ECW's recent mission to Afghanistan. Photo Credit: Education Cannot Wait / 2021


Having just returned from the first all-women mission to Afghanistan, composed of Education Cannot Wait staff and our UNICEF colleagues in Kabul, my colleagues and I clearly see the urgent need for action in delivering quality education for all children and youth in Afghanistan - especially adolescent girls. There is no time for delay or hesitation. Afghan adolescent girls cannot be left further behind than they already are.

Afghanistan is on the brink of a total collapse. A humanitarian catastrophe is looming due to the consequences of the economic crisis, prolonged drought, COVID-19 and decades of conflict and insecurity. The education sector has been in crisis for decades. An estimated 4.2 million children were out of school in 2019, of whom 60% were girls.

In 2020-2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, school were closed for 13-18 months causing important learning losses and increasing the risk that the most marginalized may never return to school. The education system has long suffered a lack of infrastructure and educational materials, as well as trained teachers, particularly in rural areas where the majority of the Afghan population lives.

To read the full story on Exposure Awareness Must Rise: Action Cannot Wait by Education Cannot Wait - Education Cannot Wait (


About our Director

ECW Executive Director Yasmine Sherif
Yasmine Sherif

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