Working Together for an Inclusive World

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ECW Director Yasmine Sherif Statement on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

3 December 2022, New York – ECW works together with governments, UN agencies, civil society and the private sector for an inclusive world where all children with disabilities are able to go to school in safe and accessible learning environments. We work together for an inclusive world where the complex challenges of today offer up the transformative solutions of tomorrow.

As we mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we must not forget the power of education in overcoming challenges.

Worldwide, there  are nearly 240 million children with disabilities. These children are 49% more likely to have never attended school. In armed conflicts, forced displacement and climate-induced disasters, it’s even worse. Living with a disability increases a child’s risk of discrimination, abuse and other denials of a child’s human rights.

In support of the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy and our global efforts to act now for children with disabilities, Education Cannot Wait works to ensure that at least 10% of our beneficiaries are children with disabilities across our portfolio. 

In places like South Sudan, Syria, Ecuador, Ethiopia and beyond, we are working with our strategic partners to improve inclusion, provide specialized services for children with disabilities, and leave no child behind.

The ECW Acceleration Facility is supporting important initiatives that improve access to learning, create inclusive learning policies, and enhance learning outcomes for children with disabilities.  

Education Cannot Wait’s High-Level Financing Conference will take place in Geneva on 16-17 February 2023. World leaders will have a chance to make firm commitments to reach the world’s most vulnerable children – especially those left furthest behind, including children with disabilities – with the safety, power and hope that only an education can provide.

For far too long, our global humanitarian response mechanisms have failed to meet the necessary requirements that guarantee access to education and a meaningful learning experience for girls and boys with disabilities. We must address these inequities today. We must work together today for a more inclusive world for the generations of tomorrow.

About our Director

ECW Executive Director Yasmine Sherif
Yasmine Sherif

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