France Announces 40 Million Euros in New, Additional Funding to Education Cannot Wait at Global Citizen Festival

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Yasmine Sherif at Global Citizen Festival 2023

Taking the stage in New York’s Central Park, France’s Minister of State for Development and International Partnerships Ms. Chrysoula Zacharopoulou and ECW Executive Director Yasmine Sherif called on donors and the private sector to urgently provide a total of US$1.5 billion in funding to provide life-saving education for 20 million crisis-impacted children worldwide.

New York

Lighting up the stage at this weekend’s Global Citizen Festival in New York, France’s Minister of State for Development and International Partnerships, Ms. Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, and Education Cannot Wait Executive Director Yasmine Sherif announced 40 million euros in new, additional funding from the Government of France.

Education Cannot Wait (ECW) has now mobilized US$870 million toward its 2023-2026 Strategic Plan to reach 20 million crisis-impacted children with the safety, hope and opportunity of a quality education. With this new, additional contribution, France has joined a number of strategic donor partners that have already made multi-year commitments to the Fund.

“As we all know, education is key to the achievement of all other SDGs. Championing global education and emancipation is an absolute priority for France. The message of the Paris Pact for People and the Planet is that we must all take our part to allow each country to alleviate poverty and tackle climate change,” said France’s Minister of State for Development and International Partnerships, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou. “This includes states, which must support development policies with sufficient resources. For this reason, I am particularly pleased to announce, on behalf of France and President Macron, the allocation of 40 million euros to support ECW’s actions for the 2023-2026 cycle.”

“With this new bold and generous contribution, France shines as an example for others to follow. This tells us that it is time to ensure that education is prioritized as a foundational global goal that is essential to realize all other global goals. The time has come to focus on all the children and adolescents left furthest behind – the refugees, internally displaced and children affected by brutal conflicts and punishing climate change disasters. Thank you, France, for reminding us all where to place our focus to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” said ECW Executive Director Yasmine Sherif. “We call on government donors, philanthropic foundations, and the private sector to follow suit and join our collective efforts to mobilize a total of US$1.5 billion over the next three years to provide quality education to 20 million crisis-affected girls and boys so they can learn, grow and rebuild their societies.”

According to ECW, 224 million children around the world are deprived of a quality education due to ongoing armed conflicts, forced displacement, climate-induced disasters and other protracted crises. They need urgent support to fulfil their right to a quality, inclusive education.

Together with our strategic partners, ECW has already reached close to 9 million girls and boys in some of the harshest crises around the globe, providing them with a holistic education that includes: school infrastructure and learning materials, training of teachers, mental health and psychosocial services, improved access to water and sanitation, and school-feeding programmes. ECW’s support focuses on interventions that are context specific and advance gender equality, disability inclusion, climate resilience, refugee inclusion and social cohesion.

While donors are stepping up, the funding gap has actually widened in recent years. Funding asks for education in emergencies within humanitarian appeals have nearly tripled from US$1.1 billion in 2019 to almost US$3 billion at the end of 2022. In 2022, only 30% of education requirements were funded.

At this year’s Global Citizen Festival in Central Park – headlined by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ms. Lauryn Hill and Jung Kook – ECW and Global Citizen continued to press world leaders to place education, especially for the world’s most vulnerable children, at the top of the international agenda.

Powered by a worldwide community of everyday activists raising their voices and taking action, Global Citizen’s movement is amplified by campaigns and events that convene leaders in music, entertainment, public policy, media, philanthropy and the corporate sector. Over the past 10 years, billions in commitments announced on Global Citizen platforms have been deployed, impacting more than 1 billion lives – including significant funding announcements for ECW. Take action today with Global Citizen and with your personal donation to Education Cannot Wait.

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.  

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

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