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First Emergency Response grant will be delivered by Save the Children and strategic partners to address cholera outbreaks that threaten to push even more girls and boys out of school.

New York

There are more than 2.4 million children out of school in Syria. Conflict, COVID-19, the climate crisis and now new outbreaks of cholera threaten to push even more girls and boys out of school.

To mitigate the impacts of the cholera outbreak on learning outcomes, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) announced today US$1.5 million in First Emergency Response grant funding. The 12-month grant will be delivered by Save the Children, with implementing partners the Norwegian Refugee Council, War Child Holland and People in Need.

A cholera outbreak has affected 14 governates across Syria, with over 1,400 cases confirmed and close to 100 deaths. The outbreak could potentially exacerbate protection and wellbeing needs across Syria and further disrupt children’s education. Without access to safe learning environments, many girls and boys risk being pushed into early marriage, child labour and other violations of their human rights.

The climate crisis is making matters even worse. Insufficient rains in recent years are affecting water and sanitation services in schools and creating economic stress for families already dealing with the impacts of the war, which has now stretched into its 12th year and caused massive displacement across the country and region.

“Millions of Syrian children are already at risk. By addressing the cholera outbreak – and building on the impact of ECW’s Multi-Year Resilience Programme and other investments – we are creating a systems-based approach to address the education crisis in Syria. We must do more to protect the children of Syria from the scourges of war, the impacts of cholera, and the devastating consequences of climate change. Education is the answer,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises.

The new funding builds on ECW’s US$48.5 million in funding in Syria to date, which has reached a total of 370,000 children, including over 200,000 girls and more than 1,000 children with disabilities. 

The investment will improve the capacity of teachers to respond to issues around safe drinking water, build awareness to prevent the spread of cholera and other diseases, provide materials such as sanitizers to prevent the spread of the disease, and promote gender equality in classroom activities.

Education Cannot Wait’s High-Level Financing Conference, next February in Geneva, provides a unique opportunity for world leaders to stand up for crisis-impacted children in places like Syria, the Middle East and beyond, to realize the dreams of the world’s 222 million crisis-impacted children and adolescents in need of urgent education support.   

Note to Editors

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW):
Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises. We support quality education outcomes for refugee, internally displaced and other crisis-affected girls and boys, so no one is left behind. ECW works through the multilateral system to both increase the speed of responses in crises and connect immediate relief and longer-term interventions through multi-year programming. ECW works in close partnership with governments, public and private donors, UN agencies, civil society organizations, and other humanitarian and development aid actors to increase efficiencies and end siloed responses. ECW urgently appeals to public and private sector donors for expanded support to reach even more vulnerable children and youth.  The Education Cannot Wait High-Level Financing Conference, co-hosted by ECW and Switzerland, and co-convened with Colombia, Germany, Niger, Norway and South Sudan, will take place February 16-17, 2023, in Geneva. 

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

Additional information available at: www.educationcannotwait.org

For press inquiries:
Anouk Desgroseilliers, adesgroseilliers@un-ecw.org, +1-917-640-6820
Kent Page, kpage@unicef.org, +1-917-302-1735
For other inquiries: info@un-ecw.org

For Press Inquiries:

Anouk Desgroseilliers:
adesgroseilliers@un-ecw.org
+1-917-640-6820

Kent Page:
kpage@unicef.org
+1-917-302-1735