Government of Ukraine and Education Cannot Wait Announce US$18 Million Catalytic Grant and Call on Donors to Scale-Up Education Funding for Girls and Boys Impacted by Conflict

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Girl attending class in Ukraine

New grant – delivered by Kyiv School of Economics Institute and Finn Church Aid, in collaboration with the Ukraine Ministry of Education and Science and other key Ukrainian partners – seeks to mobilize additional US$17 million in funding.

New York
ECW and Ministry of Education in Ukraine logos

As the conflict in Ukraine stretches into its third year, the Government of Ukraine and Education Cannot Wait (ECW) announced today US$18 million in catalytic grant funding for a new Multi-Year Resilience Programme that will benefit over 150,000 children across ten of Ukraine’s most impacted areas.

The new catalytic grant builds on ECW’s US$6.5 million in previous investments in Ukraine, which have already reached more than 360,000 children and youth - 65% of whom are girls - with quality education support. ECW investments in Ukraine now total US$24.5 million. This new investment benefits from ECW’s pooled funding, including €10 million in contributions from Germany. The Government of Japan has also committed an additional US$3 million towards the multi-year investment. 

The new ECW grant was announced by Ukraine’s Minister of Education and Science Oksen Lisovyi and Education Cannot Wait Executive Director Yasmine Sherif at the United Nations in New York. During the launch, Lisovyi and Sherif called on donors to urgently mobilize an additional US$17 million to fully fund the two-year programme.

“Today, Ukraine has the desire and resources not only to survive but to develop. That's why we perceive the expenditure on education as an investment in human capital. Building democracy and a strong, resilient state. The role of education here is crucial, so our efforts are currently focused on restoring access to education for every child. I am incredibly grateful to Education Cannot Wait and all the partners for their shared vision and support. Thank you for not only helping Ukraine respond to the challenges of war but also supporting the long-term development of the Ukrainian education system,” said Oksen Lisovyi, Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine.

“The conflict has taken thousands of lives and impacted the education of children and adolescents. By investing in education for girls and boys who have lost so much, we are investing in their hope, their development and their future. We need donors to step up to support Education Cannot Wait and our strategic global partners in delivering on our promise of education for all: our funding gap is just US$600 million. With that, we will have US$1.5 billion in total funding and can reach 20 million children worldwide with quality education support, including for Ukraine,” said Yasmine Sherif, Executive Director of Education Cannot Wait, global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises within the United Nations.

This is the largest humanitarian crisis Europe has experienced in decades. The United Nations has registered significant human, economic and social losses, which have created ripple effects across the globe. Children located in the most intense conflict-affected areas live in fear and often lack basic needs and services, including access to quality learning environments.

Hundreds of educational institutions have been damaged or destroyed during the conflict. Recent estimates indicate more than 3,500 education institutions have been damaged, including over 340 destroyed.

The government of Ukraine, with support from ECW, donors, UN agencies and other partners, is making efforts to expand online learning and other holistic educational opportunities. Approximately 80% of education is conducted online, but many families – especially families who have been displaced by the conflict – lack access to technology and networks to ensure consistent access to online learning.

Recent data indicate that at least 1.5 million internally displaced people are children, about 225,000 of whom are school-aged. About three out of four of these children have witnessed bombing and shelling firsthand. Teachers have been equally impacted, with an estimated 43,000 teachers displaced by the conflict.

The two-year investment will be delivered by the Kyiv School of Economics Institute and Finn Church Aid, in collaboration with the Government of Ukraine, and national organizations. To build gender equality and deliver on the Grand Bargain Agreement targets for localization, seven of ten local organizations are led by women and are represented by female experts in the education sector.

Along with the 41,000 girls and boys targeted through the investment, at least 150,000 children are expected to indirectly benefit from the investment, especially with renovated schools and learning spaces. The programme will work to ensure safe and accessible physical learning environments, improve learning outcomes by training teachers, expanding digital learning initiatives, and providing alternative education opportunities, and work to ensure gender equity and inclusion. To address the challenges facing the girls and boys who are living through this ongoing conflict, there is also a strong focus on mental health and psychosocial support.

Note to Editors

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW):
Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is the 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.

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