LE FONDS ÉDUCATION SANS DÉLAI ET SES PARTENAIRES LANCENT UN PROGRAMME D’EDUCATION PLURIANNUEL POUR ASSURER L’ACCES A L’EDUCATION A PLUS DE 800 000 ENFANTS TOUCHES PAR LES CRISES AU BURKINA FASO

Éducation sans délai fait un investissement initial de 11,1 millions de dollars américains pour déployer le programme triennal de 59 millions de dollars américains

14 janvier 2021, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso – En collaboration avec le gouvernement du Burkina Faso, l’UNICEF et Enfants du Monde, Éducation sans délai (« Education Cannot Wait » en anglais ou « ECW » – le fonds mondial dédié à l’éducation dans les situations d’urgence et les crises prolongées – a lancé aujourd’hui un nouveau programme pluriannuel qui vise à assurer l’accès à l’éducation à plus de 800 000 enfants et adolescents dans les régions du pays touchées par la crise.

Le nouveau programme bénéficie d’un financement de démarrage de 11,1 millions de dollars sur trois ans de la part d’ECW, qui sera mise en œuvre par l’UNICEF (6,1 millions de dollars) et Enfants du Monde (5 millions de dollars) en collaboration avec les partenaires des Nations Unies et de la société civile. Il vise à mobiliser 48 millions de dollars supplémentaires auprès de donateurs publics et privés pour être entièrement financé. Les interventions du programme sont alignées avec la Stratégie nationale d’éducation en situation d’urgence du Burkina Faso et le Plan de réponse humanitaire du pays.

« Au Burkina Faso, le secteur de l’éducation subit les effets négatifs de la crise de la COVID-19 ainsi que de la crise sécuritaire actuelle. Cette dernière a entraîné la fermeture de plus de 2 300 écoles et le déplacement massif de plus d’un million de personnes, tandis que la pandémie de COVID-19 a provoqué la fermeture de toutes les écoles du pays pendant plusieurs mois. Je saisis donc cette occasion pour exprimer ma reconnaissance envers Éducation sans délai pour son appui indéfectible envers nos efforts pour soutenir l’éducation en situation d’urgence », a déclaré S.E. M. Stanislas Ouaro, Ministre de l’Éducation nationale et de l’Alphabétisation du Burkina Faso.

S’exprimant lors du lancement à Ouagadougou, la directrice d’ECW, Yasmine Sherif, a salué le leadership du Gouvernement et des partenaires en éducation quant à la qualité du programme spécialement conçu pour relever les défis spécifiques auxquels les filles et les garçons touchés par la crise sont confrontés pour accéder à une éducation de qualité dans les communautés touchées par la violence et l’insécurité, les déplacements forcés, l’insécurité alimentaire et les catastrophes (épidémies, sécheresses, inondations) qui sévissent au pays.

« La crise au Burkina Faso et dans tout le Sahel central est parmi les crises qui se détériorent le plus rapidement dans le monde. Nous pouvons soit regarder et ne rien faire, soit agir maintenant en investissant dans les enfants et les adolescents pour leur donner les moyens de réaliser leur plein potentiel et de devenir des agents de changement positifs pour leurs communautés », a-t-elle déclaré. « Au fonds Éducation sans délai, nous croyons au véritable pouvoir transformateur d’une éducation de qualité. Avec le lancement de ce nouveau programme, nous appelons d’autres donateurs à se joindre à nous pour garantir qu’aucune fille ni aucun garçon ne soit laissé pour compte au Burkina Faso ».

Mme. Sherif a souligné l’approche holistique des interventions planifiées pour répondre à la gamme complète des besoins des enfants et des jeunes vulnérables, y compris le soutien en matière de santé mentale, psychosocial et nutritionnel, ainsi que l’accent mis sur l’éducation des filles et la promotion d’environnements d’apprentissage sûrs et protecteurs conformément à la Déclaration sur la sécurité dans les écoles. « Nous ne pouvons pas laisser des enfants se rendre à l’école sans savoir s’ils en sortiront vivants. La Déclaration sur la sécurité dans les écoles et le droit international doivent être respectés », a-t-elle déclaré.

Le financement pluriannuel d’ECW cible 60 pour cent de filles et se concentre sur les plus vulnérables, y compris les enfants déplacés et les enfants des communautés d’accueil, ainsi que les enfants handicapés. Le programme assure la continuité de l’éducation de la petite enfance (25 pour cent des enfants visés) au primaire (43 pour cent) et jusqu’au secondaire (33 pour cent).

Ces dernières années, la violence et l’insécurité ont contraint 1 000 000 de personnes à fuir leur domicile au Burkina Faso. En raison de l’insécurité croissante et des violentes attaques contre l’éducation, les enseignants et les élèves, les fermetures d’écoles ont doublé entre 2017 et 2019, perturbant l’éducation de plus de 400 000 enfants. La pandémie de COVID-19 en 2020 a exacerbé davantage les vulnérabilités aiguës des filles et des garçons déjà frappés par les crises.

À l’échelle nationale, un quart des filles et des garçons âgés de 6 à 11 ans ne sont pas scolarisés, et deux tiers de ceux-ci viennent de six des régions les plus à risque : Boucle de Mouhoun, Centre-Est, Centre-Nord, Est, Nord et Sahel. Le nouveau programme pluriannuel se concentre sur ces six régions, où le taux d’achèvement du primaire n’est que de 29 pour cent, soit moins de la moitié de ce qu’il est au niveau national, et où 56 pour cent des filles et des garçons, en particulier des adolescents, ne sont pas scolarisés. Le fait de ne pas être scolarisé expose ces filles, garçons et adolescents à de nombreux risques, notamment le recrutement dans des groupes armés, le mariage forcé et la grossesse précoce, et l’engagement dans des pratiques dangereuses de travail des enfants.

Nous sommes convaincus que ce partenariat améliorera l’accès à l’éducation des enfants vulnérables gravement touchés par la crise et préviendra la perte d’apprentissage, le risque d’abandon scolaire et l’exposition aux risques de travail des enfants et de mariage forcé », a déclaré Sandra Lattouf, Représentante de l’UNICEF au Burkina Faso. « Nous savons que l’investissement dans l’éducation est essentiel pour donner aux filles et aux garçons la possibilité de réaliser leur plein potentiel et de devenir des citoyens actifs et productifs de l’avenir. Par conséquent, nous devons agir maintenant et accélérer nos actions pour protéger le financement de l’éducation, accélérer l’accès à des écoles sûres et réintégrer tous les enfants non scolarisés, en particulier les filles les plus marginalisées et les enfants handicapés ».

« Enfants du Monde est ravie d’avoir été sélectionnée comme l’un des bénéficiaires du prochain financement de l’ECW dans le cadre du programme pluriannuel de résilience. Elle s’engage à travailler avec les partenaires du consortium d’ONG nationales, du Ministère de l’Éducation à travers le Secrétariat Technique de l’Éducation en Situation d’Urgence et ses autres services techniques ainsi que le Cluster Éducation pour réaliser les objectifs définis dans le programme en appui à la Stratégie nationale d’éducation en situation d’urgence, » a déclaré Tougma Téné Sankara, Coordinateur Régional, Sahel, Enfants du Monde.

L’annonce du financement initial pluriannuel porte le total des investissements d’ECW au Burkina Faso à plus de 21 millions de dollars depuis la mi-2019. ECW a également annoncé de nouveaux investissements pour déployer des programmes de résilience pluriannuels similaires afin de répondre aux besoins éducatifs pressants dans les pays voisins du Mali et du Niger, qui sont également touchés par les crises qui sévissent au Sahel central.

Faits et chiffres clés:

  • Le budget total du programme pluriannuel de résilience 2021-2023 pour le Burkina Faso est de 59,1 millions USD. Avec une allocation généreuse de 11,1 millions de dollars de financement de démarrage du fonds Éducation sans délai, le programme vise à mobiliser 48 millions de dollars supplémentaires auprès de donateurs publics et privés pour être pleinement mis en œuvre.
  • Le programme pluriannuel de résilience cible 813 000 filles et garçons, y compris les adolescents, dans six régions prioritaires – Boucles de Mouhoun, Centre-Est, Centre-Nord, Est, Nord et Sahel.
  • Le financement de démarrage d’ECW ciblera directement 144 000 enfants (21% du total) dans trois des six régions prioritaires avec une vaste gamme d’interventions. Les bénéficiaires visés incluent les personnes exposées à des risques sanitaires élevés et / ou de sécurité, dont 87 000 (60%) sont des filles et des adolescentes et 14 000 (10%) sont des enfants et des adolescents handicapés. Par ailleurs, 9 000 filles et garçons supplémentaires, y compris des adolescents, bénéficieront de possibilités d’éducation non formelle.

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT AND PARTNERS LAUNCH MULTI-YEAR EDUCATION PROGRAMME TO DELIVER EDUCATION TO OVER 800,000 CHILDREN AFFECTED BY CRISES IN BURKINA FASO

Together with the Government of Burkina Faso, UNICEF and Enfants du Monde, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) – the global fund dedicated to education in emergencies and protracted crises – launched today a new multi-year programme that aims to provide education to over 800,000 children and adolescents in crisis-affected regions of the country.

ECW invests initial US$11.1 million to roll out the 3-year US$59 million programme

14 January 2021, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso – Together with the Government of Burkina Faso, UNICEF and Enfants du Monde, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) – the global fund dedicated to education in emergencies and protracted crises – launched today a new multi-year programme that aims to provide education to over 800,000 children and adolescents in crisis-affected regions of the country.

The new programme benefits from an initial three-year $11.1 million allocation in seed funding from ECW to be implemented by UNICEF ($6.1 million) and Enfants du Monde ($5 million) in collaboration with UN and civil society partners. It aims to mobilize an additional $48 million from public and private donors to be fully funded and reach all targeted children and youth. Programme interventions are aligned to Burkina Faso’s National Education in Emergencies Strategy and to the country’s Humanitarian Response Plan.

“In Burkina Faso, the education sector is suffering the negative effects of both the ongoing security and COVID-19 crises. The security crisis resulted in the closure of more than 2,300 schools and a massive displacement of more than one million people. The COVID-19 pandemic further resulted in the closure of all schools in Burkina Faso for several months. I therefore take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Education Cannot Wait for their unwavering support in our efforts to support education in emergencies,” said H.E. Mr. Stanislas Ouaro, Minister of National Education and Literacy for Burkina-Faso.

Speaking at the launch in Ouagadougou, ECW Director Yasmine Sherif commended the leadership of the Government and education partners in Burkina Faso in designing a programme addressing the specific challenges of crisis-affected girls and boys in accessing quality education in communities affected by the violence and insecurity, forced displacement, food insecurity and natural and man-made disasters (epidemics, drought, floods).

“The crisis in Burkina Faso and in the whole Central Sahel is among the fastest deteriorating in the world. We can either watch and do nothing, or we can actually act now by investing in children and adolescents to empower them to achieve their full potential and become positive change agents for their communities,” said Yasmine Sherif. “At Education Cannot Wait, we believe in the true transformative power of quality education. With the launch of this new programme, we appeal to additional donors to join us to ensure no girls and boys are left behind in Burkina Faso.”

Ms. Sherif stressed the holistic approach of the planned interventions to meet the full range of needs of vulnerable children and youth, including mental health, psychosocial and nutrition support, as well as the focus on girls’ education and the promotion of safe and protective learning environments in line with the Safe School Declaration. “We cannot have children going to school and not knowing if they will come out alive. The Safe School Declaration and International Law have to be respected,” said Sherif.

ECW’s multi-year funding targets 60 per cent girls, and focuses on the most vulnerable, including both forcibly displaced and host community children, as well as children with disabilities. The programme ensures continuity from early childhood education (25 per cent of the total children targeted), to primary (43 per cent) and secondary (33 per cent).

In recent years, violence and insecurity have forced 1,000,000 people to flee their homes in Burkina Faso. Due to growing insecurity and violent attacks against education, teachers and students, school closures doubled between 2017 and 2019, disrupting education for more than 400,000 children. The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 further exacerbated the acute vulnerabilities of girls and boys already caught in crisis.

Nationwide, a quarter of girls and boys aged 6-11 are out of school, two-thirds of whom come from six of the highest risk regions: Boucle de Mouhoun, Centre-East, Centre-North, East, North and Sahel. The new multi-year programme focuses on these six regions, where the primary completion rate is just 29 per cent, or less than half of what it is at the national level; and where 56 per cent of girls and boys, particularly adolescents, are out of school. Being out of school exposes these girls, boys, and adolescents to a plethora of risks including recruitment into armed groups, forced marriage and pregnancy, and engagement in harmful child labour work practices.

“We are confident that this partnership will improve the access to education for vulnerable children severely impacted by the crisis and prevent learning loss, the risk of drop-out and exposure to risks of child labor and forced marriage” said Sandra Lattouf, UNICEF Representative in Burkina Faso. “We know that investing in education is critical to give girls and boys the opportunity to realize their full potential and to become active and productive citizens of the future. Therefore, we must act now, and accelerate our actions to protect education financing and to fast track the access to safe schools and reintegrate all children out-of-school, especially the most marginalized girls and children with disabilities”

“Enfants du Monde is pleased to have been selected as one of the grantees of ECW’s seed funding allocation to the Multi-Year Resilience Programme in Burkina Faso. We are committed to working with partners from the national NGO consortium, the Education Ministry through the Technical Secretariat for Education in Emergencies and its other technical services as well as with the Education Cluster to meet the programme objectives in support of the National Strategy for Education in Emergencies,” said Tougma Téné Sankara, Regional Coordinator Sahel,  Enfants du Monde.

The announcement of the multi-year seed funding brings the total of ECW investments in Burkina Faso to over $21 million since mid-2019. ECW has also announced new investments to roll out similar multi-year resilience programmes to respond to pressing education needs in the neighbouring countries of Mali and Niger, which are also affected by crises in the Central Sahel.

Key facts and figures:

  • The full cost of the 2021-2023 Multi-Year Resilience Programme for Burkina Faso is US$59.1 million. With a generous $11.1 million seed funding allocation from Education Cannot Wait, the programme aims to mobilize an additional $48 million from public and private donors to be fully implemented.
  • The Multi-Year Resilience Programme targets 813,000 girls and boys, including adolescents, in six priority regions – Boucles de Mouhoun, Centre-East, Centre-North, East, North and Sahel.
  • ECW’s seed funding will directly target 144,000 (21% of the total) learners in three of the six priority regions with a comprehensive package of interventions. This includes those exposed to major health and/or security challenges, of whom 87,000 (60%) are girls and adolescent girls and 14,000 (10%) are children and adolescents with disabilities. An additional 9,000 girls and boys, including adolescents, will benefit from non-formal education opportunities.

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT APPROVES US$33.3 MILLION FOR BURKINA FASO, MALI AND NIGER IN THE CENTRAL SAHEL

Education Cannot Wait (ECW) today announced US$33.3 million in catalytic investment grants in response to the health and humanitarian crisis in the Central Sahel in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. These investments result in a total of US$103 million of ECW investments approved within the last month for refugee, forcibly displaced, host-community and other vulnerable girls and boys in these countries, as well as crisis-affected children and youth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

In response to escalating crises in the Central Sahel, these new programmes will reach 300,000 children and youth impacted by displacement, conflict and COVID-19

Available in French.

4 January 2021, New York – Education Cannot Wait (ECW) today announced US$33.3 million in catalytic investment grants in response to the health and humanitarian crisis in the Central Sahel in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. These investments result in a total of US$103 million of ECW investments approved within the last month for refugee, forcibly displaced, host-community and other vulnerable girls and boys in these countries, as well as crisis-affected children and youth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

The new multi-year resilience programmes in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger bring together humanitarian and development actors to jointly deliver inclusive, quality education to children and youth left furthest behind in the Central Sahel. These joint programmes will run for three years, with the goal of leveraging an additional US$117 million in co-financing from national and global partners, the private sector and philanthropic foundations.

The humanitarian situation is worsening in the Central Sahel as a result of multiple crises. The horrific attacks by non-state armed groups against civilians in the villages of Tchoma Bangou and Zaroumadareye in Niger on 2 January which killed at least 100 people, including 17 children (according to UNICEF), and wounded and displaced scores of others is just the latest example of how violence in the region is threatening the future of an entire generation. Civilians, including children – and education – must always be protected against armed attacks. ECW’s investments support the implementation of the Safe Schools Declaration to promote the safety of girls and boys and protect students, teachers and schools from the worst effects of armed conflict.

Girls are disproportionately impacted by these protracted crises and thus Education Cannot Wait investments prioritize girls’ education from pre-school through to secondary levels by ensuring that 60 per cent of the beneficiaries across the three countries are female. Education Cannot Wait also places specific emphasis on reaching those left furthest behind in protracted crises contexts, hence children and adolescents with disabilities comprise ten per cent of those to be reached with this multi-year funding.

“Millions of girls and boys in the Central Sahel live on the frontlines of armed conflicts, hunger, forced displacement and poverty. COVID-19 and a rise in climate-change induced disasters exacerbate the challenges they already face in realizing their right to education. For them, education represents their only hope. However, more financial resources are needed to fully fund these carefully designed and crisis-sensitive joint programmes, which will transform education in the Central Sahel – provided financing is made available,” said The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of the ECW High-Level Steering Group.

The programmes build upon the results of Education Cannot Wait’s US$30 million in first emergency investments across the three countries which were initiated in 2019. These first emergency responses are currently reaching over quarter of a million girls and boys affected by forced displacements across the region.

“Children, youth and their teachers are disempowered by the lack of an inclusive quality education and a safe learning environment as they are also targeted in violent attacks,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, the global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises. “I have met them. I have seen both the despair and the resilience of young adolescent girls demanding their right to education and appealing for protection from early marriage. We can change all that and ECW’s investments represent our resolve to deliver hope and a real opportunity for change. Together with our partners, Education Cannot Wait calls on public and private sector donors to join us and urgently close the US$117 million funding gap and complete ECW’s catalytic investments in these three joint programmes, for Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. We have to act and we have to act now.”

Burkina Faso

More than 2.6 million children and youth are out of school in Burkina Faso, with another 1.7 million students at risk of dropping out of school. While the government has made impressive strides in improving its education system, poverty, a lack of documentation, child labour, disabilities, early pregnancies and marriages, and other factors push many children out of school, with just 1 out of 10 continuing on to secondary education.

With a US$11.1 million catalytic grant, the Burkina Faso multi-year resilience programme seeks to mobilize US$48 million in additional funds. Fully funded, the programme will reach 913,000 girls and boys, 60 per cent of whom are girls. The programme specifically targets displaced, refugee and returnee children, children with disabilities and children currently out of school.  The ECW seed funding will directly target 144,000 learners in vulnerable situations with a comprehensive package of interventions and will be implemented by UNICEF (US$6.1 million) and Enfants Du Monde (US$5 million).

“In Burkina Faso, the education sector is suffering the negative effects of both the ongoing security and COVID-19 crises. The security crisis resulted in the closure of more than 2,300 schools and a massive displacement of more than one million people. The COVID-19 pandemic further resulted in the closure of all schools in Burkina Faso for several months. I therefore take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Education Cannot Wait for their unwavering support in our efforts to support education in emergencies,” said H.E. Mr. Stanislas Ouaro, Minister of National Education and Literacy for Burkina-Faso.

Mali

Mali faces a serious humanitarian and security crisis. The combined effects of conflict and multi-faceted insecurity and a repetitive cycle of flooding accentuate pre-existing vulnerabilities and prevent sustained access to educational opportunities. Indiscriminate attacks by armed groups against civilians, violence against girls and women, and attacks on state institutions, including schools and health facilities, are common. They result in displacements of populations in a region that is already facing the impacts of climate change, extreme poverty, a lack of economic opportunities and scarcity of basic services. This situation has worsened with the arrival of COVID-19. Currently, approximately 3.8 million girls and boys are enrolled in primary, lower secondary and upper secondary schools across Mali. These numbers suggest that as many as 50 per cent of children are out of school.

With US$11.1 million in seed funding from ECW, the multi-year resilience programme in Mali seeks to mobilize US$30.6 million in additional funding. Fully funded, the three-year programme will reach 370,000 girls and boys, 60 per cent of whom are girls and 10 per cent of whom are children with disabilities. The ECW catalytic grant will be implemented by EducCo (US$2.7 million), Plan International (US$2.7 million), Save the Children (US$3.2 million) and UNHCR (US$2.5 million). The investment will enable partners to reach 90,000 children and youth and support interventions in the priority regions with an emphasis on the regions of Mopti and Menaka with the highest levels of vulnerability. Beneficiaries include refugees, returnees, internally displaced and host community children and youth.

“The Government of Mali expresses its appreciation for Education Cannot Wait’s funding of $11.1 million to support the continued quality education of crisis-affected children and youth impacted by school closures in emergency areas of the country by providing them with diverse learning opportunities,” said Mr. Kinane Ag Gadeda, Secretary-General of the Ministry of National Education for Mali.

Niger

The education system in Niger faces many major challenges. In 2019 just 13 per cent of pre-school, 64 per cent in primary, 29 per cent in lower secondary and 10 per cent upper secondary students were enrolled in school. The investment actively targets crisis-affected regions where these rates are all below the national average. The humanitarian crisis has further exacerbated pressures on the education system. Climate change spurs chronic food insecurity and displacement due to drought. This triggers conflict and cross-border migration, placing significant pressures on the education system.

With US$11.1 million in seed funding from ECW, the overall multi-year response seeks to mobilize an additional US$39.2 million to reach a total of 275,000 children. ECW catalytic grants target 61,000 girls and boys, including adolescents in the Tahoua and Tillaberi regions. Implemented by World Food Programme (US$4.4 million), Plan International (US$3.3 million) and World Vision International (US$3.3 million), ECW funds will reach 19,300 refugees, 2,600 children and adolescents with disabilities and more than 30,000 girls and adolescent girls.

“I take this opportunity to reaffirm our gratitude and appreciation to ECW for approving the multi-year resilience programme to support the Niger government’s efforts over the next three years to help vulnerable children in crisis-affected areas in the country. I appeal to all of Niger’s partners to support this programme by closing the funding gap to ensure that education is not forgotten among the crises affecting Niger,” said Yahouza Sadissou, Coordinating Minister of the Ministries responsible for Education in Niger.

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT INTERVIEWS H.E. MR. STANISLAS OUARO, MINISTER OF NATIONAL EDUCATION AND LITERACY, BURKINA FASO

n this incisive interview, the minister explores the upcoming Education Cannot Wait-financed multi-year resilience programme and the triple threat of Conflict, COVID-19, and the Climate Crisis, which have come together to displace over 1 million people in Burkina Faso. Learn more about ECW-financed programmes in the Sahel and Burkina Faso.


EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT INTERVIEWS H.E. MR. STANISLAS OUARO by Education Cannot Wait on Exposure

ENTRETIEN DU FONDS ÉDUCATION SANS DÉLAI AVEC S.E. STANISLAS OUARO, MINISTRE DE L’ÉDUCATION NATIONALE ET DE L’ALPHABÉTISATION DU BURKINA FASO


ENTRETIEN DU FONDS ÉDUCATION SANS DÉLAI AVEC S.E. STANISLAS OUARO by Education Cannot Wait on Exposure

Statement of the ECW Director, Yasmine Sherif, at the Ministerial Roundtable for the Central Sahel

20 October 2020 – as prepared for delivery

Education Cannot Wait is the first and only global fund dedicated to supporting the education of children and youth in emergencies and protracted crises, including armed conflict.  Following the escalation of the crises in Central Sahel in 2019, particularly in Burkina Faso, ECW has been engaging with the governments and education partners in all three countries, including UN agencies and civil society organizations.  ECW sees education as a central, key component of any sustainable solution to crises, not only ensuring that children and youths’ right to education is fulfilled but also in contributing to peace, tolerance and understanding as a basis for long-lasting stability.  Since July 2019, ECW has approved $30 million in grants to the three countries in four funding phases to over 20 different grantees – thanks to generous support from our diverse donor base, including the governments of the United Kingdom, United States and Denmark.  We would like to take the opportunity today to say two things:  First, ECW, working across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, is now committing an additional $33 million to the three countries over the next three years in support of multi-year resilience programme funding. This will support existing education in emergencies strategies and help them to bridge longer-term development interventions outlined in the respective sector plans.  Secondly, we appeal to other donors to join ECW in recognising the central role of education in tackling the crises in Central Sahel by swiftly increasing their financing to eliminate the $94 million gap which ECW is urgently needed for education in the crises affected zones across all three countries.

Thank-you.

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Click here for more information on the Ministerial Roundtable for the Central Sahel

Watch the recording of the event

 

SCHOOLS CAUGHT UP IN ARMED CONFLICT SWEEPING ACROSS THE SAHEL

A Malian refugee student plays the role of teacher at a school in Goudoubo camp. Because of rising insecurity teachers no longer show up and students often teach each other. Photo © UNHCR/Sylvain Cherkaoui

On the first International Day to Protect Education from Attack, UNHCR and Education Cannot Wait are bridging the gap to provide refugee children with the safety, hope and opportunity of an education. In Burkina Faso, by the end of 2019, more than 3,300 schools were shut, affecting almost 650,000 children and more than 16,000 teachers. Oumar refuses to give up on his education.

Stories from the Field

Special Contribution by Ag Ahmed in Dori, UNHCR Burkina Faso  (Original Story | Español)

With the violence that had been plaguing parts of the Sahel region for years beginning to rage in Burkina Faso, teachers at Oumar’s school simply stopped coming to work. Then they left the area altogether.

That put Oumar’s education, and the education of thousands of other Malian refugee children who were then living in Mentao refugee camp, on hold.

“I was very sad to have to stay home all day and not be able to continue classes,” says Oumar, a reserved but determined teenager, now 17 years old.

It was a bitter blow. Growing up, there had been no school to go to in Oumar’s home town of Mopti, and after he and his family fled Mali in 2012 as violence was igniting there, life in Mentao camp had given him his first taste of an education.

To keep his schooling going, the boy’s father decided to take him and his siblings to Goudoubo refugee camp, further to the east. There he was registered in a school in the nearby town of Dori, hoping this would allow him to sit the crucial exams that let him progress to secondary level.

But more disruption lay in wait. “The following school year, as soon as the school year started, the same security issues continued in Goudoubo,” he says. “I was very disappointed that once again my school closed and that I was not able to finish the new school year.”

Oumar is over the usual age to start secondary school, something which is common for refugee children, particularly where education is disrupted and there are no accelerated education programmes available.

In Burkina Faso alone, over the past 12 months the number of internally displaced people rose five-fold, reaching 921,000 at the end of June 2020. The country is also host to nearly 20,000 refugees, many of whom have recently fled the camps – seeking safety in other parts of the country or even returning to their homeland.

Across the Sahel, millions have fled indiscriminate attacks by armed groups against both civilians and state institutions – including schools. According to UNICEF, between April 2017 and December 2019 the number of school closures due to violence in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger rose six-fold. By the end of last year, more than 3,300 schools were shut, affecting almost 650,000 children and more than 16,000 teachers.

In Burkina Faso alone, 2,500 schools had closed because of the violence, depriving 350,000 children of access to education – and that was before  coronavirus closed the rest.

On September 9th, the UN marks the first International Day to Protect Education from Attack, with the General Assembly condemning attacks on education and the military use of schools in contravention of international law.

In a ground-breaking report, UNHCR warns the twin scourges of COVID-19 and attacks on schools, targeting teachers and pupils, threatens to destroy hard-won gains in refugee education and destroy the dreams of millions of youngsters.

This year, Oumar thought it was third time lucky. His family moved a few miles down the road from Goudoubo camp to Dori, and he was able to start his first year of secondary school in spite of being older than most of the other students. “Everything was going smoothly,” he says.

“But classes had to stop again – this time because of the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Since 1 June, the three school grades that were due to take exams this year have reopened and UNHCR is doing what it can to find places for refugee children.

For the others, UNHCR, with the support of Education Cannot Wait, began buying radios for primary and secondary refugee students to ensure they had the same access as their Burkinabe peers to lessons being broadcast over the airwaves. UNHCR is also working with governments to enable emergency education for displaced children and youth via access to safe distance learning alternatives.

As he waits, Oumar refuses to be downhearted. “I still have the hope that the situation will improve so that I can go back and finish my education,” he says.

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Education Cannot Wait’s ‘Stories from the Field’ series features the voices of our implementing partners, children, youth and the communities we support. These stories have only been lightly edited to reflect the authentic voice of these frontlines partners on the ground. The views expressed in the Stories from the Field series do not necessarily reflect those of Education Cannot Wait, our Secretariat, donors or UN Member States.

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT INVESTMENTS REACH REFUGEE AND OTHER VULNERABLE CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC

With US$24.5 million in currently committed funds – and more on its way – ECW-financed COVID-19 education in emergency responses are now deployed across 27 countries and emergency contexts. For children and youth in Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Mali and Uganda, these life-saving responses are allowing girls and boys to continue their education through distance learning, protecting lives with enhanced water and sanitation services, and slowing the spread of the virus through community awareness campaigns.

Priscille with her family. Photo © Save the Children

ECW-SUPPORTED RESPONSE TO COVID-19 IN UGANDA WITH SAVE THE CHILDREN

With support from Education Cannot Wait, Save the Children Uganda is distributing home learning kits and extending educational opportunities through innovative radio programmes to provide refugee girls and boys – and host community children and youth – ongoing remote learning opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schools are still closed in Uganda – possibly for the remainder of the year. For these vulnerable refugee children and youth, life-saving education and health awareness materials are essential in keeping children safe, extending learning and slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Still, half of the primary school refugee children in Uganda have yet to receive home learning materials, highlighting the need to expand the global education in emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Imagine… I am in P7 (the seventh and final grade of primary school). As a girl, I am very proud to have reached this class. This virus should stop so that I can sit the Primary Leaving Examination since many girls cannot make it. This makes me happy and keen to complete my studies!” – Priscille, 15, refugee girl Rwamwanja refugee settlement in Western Uganda. Full Story

Grace is finding new hope through the ECW-financed response. Photo © UNICEF

ECW-SUPPORTED RESPONSE TO COVID-19 IN BURKINA FASO WITH UNICEF

In Burkina Faso, ECW funding is keeping girls and boys safe within the fast-evolving ‘crisis within a crisis’ affecting refugees, especially girls in the Sahel. For girls like Grace, the support provided by ECW partner UNICEF, in coordination with the Government of Burkina Faso, is making a difference. This includes the training and deployment of 15,000 volunteers who provide COVID-19 hygiene and prevention sensitization amongst refugee populations and host communities.

“At school we have to wear the mask, stay at least 1 meter apart, wash hands with water and soap and raise awareness of friends who don’t know how to fight this pandemic.” – Grace, Peniel High School in Tanghin.

Learn more in this BBC French report.

Photo © UNHCR

ECW-SUPPORTED RESPONSE TO COVID-19 IN MALI WITH UNHCR

“UNHCR Mali has now received money from Education Cannot Wait for distance learning, targeting 10,000 refugee and displaced children in Mali. With the money we aim to provide solar radios to refugee children, children who are internally displaced, and those from the host communities. These radios will ensure these refugee, displaced and host community children’s right to education, even in low-tech resource areas of Mali. The Ministry of Education together with teachers are now recording lessons for all levels so that they are ready to be aired on the radios.”- Leandro Salazar, Education Expert, UNHCR Mali.

Preventing the spread of the virus through education in Chad. Photo © JRS.

ECW-SUPPORTED RESPONSE TO COVID-19 IN CHAD AND THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC WITH JRS

The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown and confinement measures have brought new challenges for educational facilities in both Chad and the Central African Republic. In addition to being central to learning, schools are crucial for raising community awareness to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

With the support of Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) adapted its activities in the Central African Republic (CAR) and in Eastern Chad to ensure continued education, health and hygiene awareness raising and protection for refugee children and youth – already impacted by armed conflicts, forced displacement, natural disasters and protracted crises – and now doubly hit by COVID-19.

In Chad, ECW partner JRS is supporting improved water and sanitation services and training education professionals on COVID-19 prevention measures to help them raise awareness within the communities. In Central African Republic, radio programmes are providing psychosocial support and ongoing lessons, with a special focus on refugee girls’ rights to access quality education.

¨We started some initiatives to be in contact with the students. This includes awareness raising activities with their parents and students on COVID-19 prevention measures through WhatsApp groups and home visits.¨ Tadjadine Abdallah Mansour, a secondary teacher at Kounoungou Refugee Camp, Chad.

“For the moment, and until the end of the pandemic, we will continue teaching our students within their areas through home-based learning.¨