Education Cannot Wait Joins Forces With the Islamic Development Bank to Address the Challenge of 28 Million Out-of-school Children in Oic Member Countries

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Yasmine Sherif and Dr. Waleed Al-Wohaib Director of Islamic Solidarity Fund, signed the Global Education Declaration this week in Morocco

Global education declaration builds momentum to address development challenges and foster long-term resilience in crisis-affected countries


There are around 28 million out-of-school children in Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). That’s more than the total population of Australia.

To address this growing challenge, Education Cannot Wait – a global fund for education in emergencies that seeks to mobilize US$1.8 billion by 2021 to reach 8.9 million children living in the midst of war, disaster and crisis – signed an agreement this week with the Islamic Development Bank and a wide range of stakeholders for a Global Education Coalition for Enrolling and Retaining 28 million out-of-school children in OIC member countries by 2021.

The declaration was signed at the 44th Annual Meeting of the IsDB Group, and provides a pathway to reach the Sustainable Development Goal for universal and equitable education (SDG4).

Signatories of the declaration include the Islamic Development Bank, Islamic Solidarity FundEducation Above AllEducation Cannot WaitSave the ChildrenGPE, SPARK and others.

The declaration builds on momentum to address the growing needs of many OIC member states that are struggling to meet the needs of growing populations in the midst of poverty, natural disasters, and local and regional protracted crises.

“Prioritizing education in OIC countries is becoming more and more urgent, especially in countries where escalating crises are threatening the stability of an entire region,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait. “There is an urgent need to enhance the quality and inclusion in education, and to reopen thousands of schools in OIC countries like Afghanistan, Niger, Syria, Yemen, and many others.”

Several OIC countries are also affected by large-scale refugee crises and internally displaced populations that require urgent action.

Education Cannot Wait, along with a broad coalition of international actors, UN agencies, civil society, on-the-ground implementing agencies, national governments, the private sector, donors and financial institutions such as the Islamic Development Bank are building and supporting both first emergency responses and multi-year resilience programmes for several OIC countries, including Palestine, Bangladesh (Rohingya crisis), Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Uganda, Syria and Yemen.

There 75 million children in urgent need of educational support in crisis settings worldwide. Approximately 60 per cent of the education humanitarian caseload in 2018 (31 million children) were living in 19 crisis-affected OIC member countries.

Through its US$153 million investment portfolio, Education Cannot Wait is already reaching 1.4 million of the most marginalized children and youth in crisis settings, including 10 OIC countries.



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