Statement of the Education Cannot Wait Director on the EU increase of spending for education in emergencies and protracted crises

I applaud the new EU policy framework aiming to increase the humanitarian funding for education in emergencies and crises to 10 per cent of its overall humanitarian aid budget as of 2019. This announcement marks a key milestone in our collective efforts to fill the funding gap to meet the urgent education needs of millions of children and youth affected by conflict and natural disasters across the globe.

In situations of conflict and crises, safe access to a quality education is absolutely crucial to provide children with physical, psychosocial and cognitive protection that can be both life-sustaining and life-saving. Yet, education is often one of the first service to be disrupted and one of the last to be restored.

Girls in a temporary learning structure near Kabul, Afghanistan © ECW/A. Sandhu
Girls in a temporary learning structure near Kabul, Afghanistan © ECW/A. Sandhu

Lack of access to education directly impacts children’s safety and well-being. All children are exposed to threats during and after emergencies. However girls and boys who are out of school are at much higher risk of violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. This includes sexual violence and exploitation, recruitment or use by armed forces or groups and hazardous child labor.

The new EU policy framework also aims to bring children caught up in humanitarian crises back to learning within 3 months. Along with the EU increased funding, this will undeniably play a significant role in supporting a quick and effective response to needs.

The EU has been instrumental in raising the centrality of education in the humanitarian response, consistently stepping up its funding in recent years.  I am hopeful that this new announcement will set yet another example for other donors to follow through. There is no time to waste, the lives and future of millions of children are at stake.

Yasmine Sherif
Education Cannot Wait (ECW)

Additional information on the new EU policy framework on humanitarian funding for education in emergencies and crises is available at:



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