STRONGER TOGETHER: EDUCATION IN EMERGENCIES & PROTRACTED CRISES

On August 12, 2020, Devex and Education Cannot Wait are hosting a dynamic online event to engage key stakeholders and generate a global conversation showcasing challenges and solutions to deliver a more collaborative and rapid response to the educational needs of children and youth affected by crises, especially.

Wednesday, August 12
10 a.m. ET | 4 p.m. CET
 
75 million school-aged children and youth are in desperate need of educational support, either in danger of, or already missing out on their education. Communities highlight the importance of education during times of crises, yet education appeals receive less than 2% of humanitarian funding. The right to education is most at risk during emergencies but it is also the exact time when it is needed the most.
 
On August 12, 2020, Devex and Education Cannot Wait are hosting a dynamic online event to engage key stakeholders and generate a global conversation showcasing challenges and solutions to deliver a more collaborative and rapid response to the educational needs of children and youth affected by crises, especially.
 
The event will also include the official launch of Education Cannot Wait’s annual report, highlighting important results and lessons learned on how to advance education for the most vulnerable. Together with key experts and high-level stakeholders, we’ll shine a light on the important link between education and peace and development, and showcase solutions to boost access to education for children and adolescents living in crisis-affected countries.

The Speakers

Moderator
Raj Kumar
President & Editor-in-Chief
Devex
Raj Kumar is the Founding President and Editor-in-Chief at Devex, the media platform for the global development community. He is a media leader and former humanitarian council chair for the World Economic Forum and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His work has led him to more than 50 countries, where he has had the honor to meet many of the aid workers and development professionals who make up the Devex community. He is the author of the book “The Business of Changing the World,” a go-to primer on the ideas, people, and technology disrupting the aid industry.
 
The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown
United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education
and
Chair of ECW’s High-Level Steering Group
 
Gordon Brown served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2007 to 2010 and is widely credited with preventing a second Great Depression through his stewardship of the 2009 London G20 summit. He was one of the first leaders during the global crisis to initiate calls for global financial action, while introducing a range of rescue measures in the UK. In April 2009, he hosted the G20 Summit in London where world leaders committed to make an additional $1.1 trillion available to help the world economy through the crisis and restore credit, growth and jobs. They also pledged to strengthen financial supervision and regulation. In addition to his global education work Gordon is a Senior Panel Member at the Kofi Annan Foundation initiative on Electoral Integrity and is a Patron of the Burma Campaign UK. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Patron of the Parliamentary Outreach Trust.
 
Jan Egeland
Secretary General
Norwegian Refugee Council
Jan Egeland has been the Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council since August 2013, a role which oversees the work of the humanitarian organisation in more than 30 countries affected by conflict and disaster. In 2015 he was appointed in a second role by former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, as Special Adviser to the UN Special Envoy for Syria. Within this position he chaired the humanitarian task force responsible for the safety and protection of Syrian civilians. He stepped down from this role on 1 December 2018. In 2006, Time magazine named Jan Egeland one of the “100 people who shape our world.”
 
Henrietta H. Fore
Executive Director
UNICEF
Henrietta H. Fore became UNICEF’s seventh Executive Director on 1 January 2018. She has worked to champion economic development, education, health, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in a public service, private sector and non-profit leadership career that spans more than four decades. From 2007 to 2009, Ms. Fore served as the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Director of United States Foreign Assistance. The first woman to serve in these roles, she was responsible for managing $39.5 billion of U.S. foreign assistance annually, including support to peoples and countries recovering from disaster and building their futures economically, politically and socially.
 
H.E. Rangina Hamidi
Minister of Education
Afghanistan
Rangina Hamidi is the Afghanistan Minister of Education and was born in Kandahar Province. Rangina earned a Bachelors degree in Religious Studies and Gender Studies from the University of Virginia and worked for the Institute for International Public Policy. Rangina returned to Kandahar in 2003 and with a personal commitment to help lead change in Afghanistan she assumed the leadership of the Women’s Income Generation (WIG) Project for Afghans for Civil Society (ACS), a development organization dedicated to the social development of Southern Afghanistan.
 
Deborah Kamulbi
Youth Advocate for Refugees
UNHCR DAFI Recipient
Deborah Kalumbi is a female 3rd year DAFI sponsored student pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Education at Cavendish University Zambia. After getting selected on DAFI in 2017, Deborah firmly believes that a person cannot change their past but can definitely do something to change their future. She also believes in being the difference that can bring about change and development. One of her priced life lessons is that Humanity is a virtue. Deborah has been an active participant in the DAFI students club activities and is part of the UNHCR Refugee Humanitarian Ambassadors with her wish being “changing the world one step at a time”. She has also represented youths on platforms such as the Young Peoples World Heritage Education which focuses on educating young people on self- empowerment and more recently, was selected in the “young ideas competition” which focuses on improving refugee livelihoods.
 
Kamal Khera
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development
 
Kamal Khera was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Brampton West in 2015. A registered nurse, community volunteer, and political activist, Ms. Khera is passionate about improving the lives of those around her. A first generation Canadian, Ms. Khera immigrated to Canada from Delhi, India, at a very young age. She attended York University where she earned an Honours Bachelors of Science in Psychology and an Honours Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Drawn to helping others, Ms. Khera gained diverse experience in the health care field through her professional experience with the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health, Peel Family Shelter, and William Osler Health System. Recently, she worked as a registered nurse in the oncology unit at St. Joseph’s Health Centre Toronto, which gave her a deep understanding of the issues that impact individuals every day.
 
Nujeen Mustafa
Youth Advocate for Refugees
 
Nujeen Mustafa is an incredible young woman who, at just sixteen, made the 3,500-mile journey from Syria to Germany in a steel wheelchair. Nujeen was born with cerebral palsy and spent the majority of her life confined to her apartment in Aleppo, Syria, where she taught herself English watching shows on TV. As war broke out, she and her family were forced to flee, first to her native Kobane, then Turkey. Her family didn’t have enough money for them all to make it to safety in Germany, where her brother lives, so her parents stayed in Turkey while she set out with her sister across the Mediterranean, braving inconceivable odds for the chance to have a normal life and an education. Nujeen’s optimism and defiance when confronting all of her challenges have propelled this young refugee from Syria into the spotlight as the human face of an increasingly dehumanised crisis. Since moving to Germany, Nujeen has continued to tell her remarkable story and to capture the hearts of all who hear her speak.
 
Yasmine Sherif
Director
Education Cannot Wait
Yasmine Sherif is the Director of Education Cannot Wait (ECW) – a global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crisis established by the World Humanitarian Summit. A lawyer specialized in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law (LL.M), she has 30 years of experience with the United Nations (UNHCR, UNDP, OCHA) and international NGOs, starting her international career in 1988. Ms. Sherif has served in some of the most crisis affected countries and regions on the globe, including Afghanistan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and across the Middle East, including Jordan (the Syria-crisis) and the occupied Palestinian territory, as well as in New York and Geneva. Her expertise spans across the humanitarian, development, human rights, gender and peacekeeping spectrum. 
 
Dag-Inge Ulstein
Minister of International Development
Norway
In his role as the Minister of International Development, Dag-Inge Ulstein is responsible for international development efforts in countries outside the OSCE, the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan. He is also responsible for development cooperation under the auspices of the UN system, the World Bank, the regional development banks and other global funds and programmes. In addition, he is responsible for Norad, Norec and Norfund
 
Justin van Fleet
President
Theirworld
Justin van Fleet is the President of the global children’s charity Theirworld and Executive Director of the Global Business Coalition for Education. He previously served as the Director of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity and Chief of Staff to the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown where the landmark “Learning Generation” report put forward a pathway to finance and deliver the ambitions of Sustainable Development Goal 4 – inclusive and equitable quality education for all. He has been a passionate advocate for financing education, playing an instrumental role in the establishment of the Education Cannot Wait Fund for education in emergencies and the new International Finance Facility for Education.

 

EVERY ACTION COUNTS – WORLD REFUGEE DAY 2020

This story was built from the analysis and reporting in Education Cannot Wait’s upcoming 2019 Annual Report. Stay tuned for more stories, high-level virtual events and analysis from the report. All figures reflect reporting as of 31 December 2019 unless otherwise noted. Photo © Avsi Foundation

Education Cannot Wait investments are reaching refugee children and youth in crisis-affected countries around the world, providing them with the hope, opportunity and protection of an education. In places like Uganda, this means disabled girls, like Sunday Harriet, are regaining access to education, allowing them to learn, grow and thrive.

Everyone can make a difference and every action counts! This is the rallying cry of 2020’s World Refugee Day, led by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and supported by stakeholders and partner across the world, including Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises.

For refugee students living in the Palake Refugee Camp in Northern Uganda, like Sunday Harriet, even the smallest of actions can make a big difference.

As an infant, Sunday suffered a serious infection in both her ears. Now 11 years old and in primary school, Sunday’s learning ability is impaired because her hearing is now limited.  “I used to be picked by teachers and brought to the front of the classroom because I did not hear well,” she said.

Sunday’s challenges are complex. Because she has a disability, and because she was forced to flee her home, her chances of receiving quality education were limited.

The spread of COVID-19 now exacerbates the hardships faced by refugee children like Sunday.  Refugee girls are especially at risk, often pressured by economic hardship, culture and tradition to stay home and work, or vulnerable to sexual exploitation and abuse. According to the Malala Fund, approximately 10 million more secondary-school-aged girls could be out of school as a result of the pandemic, putting them at even higher risk.

To support Sunday, and other students like her, Education Cannot Wait provides funding for the Education Response Plan for Refugees and Host Communities in Uganda and through a fast-acting First Emergency Response to the COVID-19 pandemic, announced in early April.

In Uganda, ECW’s education in emergency COVID-19 response includes $1 million in funding to Save the Children and UNHCR, which focuses on ensuring continuous access to education, including: distance, online and radio learning; information campaigns, risk communications and community engagement in local languages, including psychosocial and mental health support; and, water and sanitation facility upgrades in schools and learning centers as a first line of defense.

Recent reports indicate that 60,000 refugee and Ugandan children are benefiting from extended learning and mental health support during the lockdown through ECW’s first emergency response.

These interconnected programmes were developed through a collaborative process, including the Government of Uganda, donors, NGOs, UN agencies, the education in emergencies working group and other key stakeholders.

To get Sunday back to learning, the AVSI Foundation screened her using a contact disability assessment tool, which helps detect children and youth with impairments. Having clearly qualified for assistance, she was referred for further clinical assessment from an ear, nose and throat specialist in Gulu, in northern Uganda, who recommended she be fitted with hearing aids.

The assistance has been life changing! Having eventually received her digital hearing aids from Kampala Audiology and Speech Centre, Sunday can now properly engage in classroom exercises and listen clearly to what her teachers are saying.

Photo © Manan Kotak/ECW

Impact

According to ECW’s upcoming Annual Report, Uganda is host to the third largest refugee community in the world as more than 1.3 million refugees have crossed its borders from Burundi, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More than 60 per cent of the refugees are under the age of 18; girls and women make up a total of 51 percent of the total displaced population.

The Education Response Plan for Refugees and Host Communities in Uganda, was launched in September 2018 and aims to improve access and delivery of quality education for refugees and host communities affected areas in the border regions. The Education Response Plan is based on the ‘Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework’ (CRRF) and these work together to make the education system more inclusive for refugees and other vulnerable groups, such as children with disabilities, girls and child mothers.

In 2019, the Uganda Education Consortium, working under the national emergency response plan, delivered a comprehensive package of services that include the distribution of scholastic materials to 150,941 children (48 per cent girls), the construction of more than 150 new classrooms, the recruitment of 640 teachers, and the establishment of referral pathways alongside accelerated learning programmes.

This multi-pronged approach helped improve the gross enrolment ratio for refugee children from 53 per cent in 2017 to 75 per cent by the end of 2019.

Taken together with other actions, this provides a strong enabling environment for the government of Uganda to roll out effective education in emergencies relief to the COVID-19 pandemic and other fast-acting emergencies that derail development gains and push budgets and coping mechanisms to the breaking point.

Photo © Manan Kotak/ECW

Every Action Counts – The Global Picture

The global population of forcibly displaced people reached 70.8 million in 2019 – the highest level since World War II. This includes almost 26 million refugees and over 41 million Internally Displaced People (IDPs), who often face significant barriers to access education in host countries.

In 2019, according to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, only 63 per cent of refugee children attended primary school (compared to 91 per cent globally) and only 24 per cent of refugees accessed secondary education. COVID-19, climate change, armed conflicts and a trend toward longer periods of displacement and protracted crises are putting even more girls and boys at risk, and derailing global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG4,which focuses on universal and equitable quality education.

While host countries took in large numbers of refugees, they were not always able to accommodate the increased demand for services, and the 26 million refugees around the world face particularly dangerous, life-threatening obstacles in the fight against COVID-19. In a camp in Northwest Syria hosting 1 million people, people face cramped living conditions, little or no healthcare and a lack of access to clean water. In Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar, as many as 16,000 people currently live in quarantine zones. Even worse, these multiplying crises that could result in 300,000 people starving every day, cost our economy trillions of dollars, and push millions back into poverty.

Education is part of the solution. Schools and learning centers provide refugee children with meals, they provide them with sanitation facilities, and they provide them with a safe haven to escape the fear and danger of life that they may face in exile. In short, education provides them hope.

Immediate relief is needed. ECW has expanded its education in emergencies COVID-19 response appeal to US$300 million. Much of this funding will directly reach refugee and other displaced children.

To create true transformational change, however, the education system needs to be built back better with integrated long-term approaches that bridge the humanitarian-development nexus, and put refugee children and education first.