UNESCO and Education Cannot Wait provide the Ministry of Education and Higher Education with online learning material for teachers and students

 

UNESCO Beirut / MOE&HE Lebanon / ECW Press Release

 
UNESCO and Education Cannot Wait provide the Ministry of Education and Higher Education with online learning material for teachers and students

 





12 May 2020, Beirut, Lebanon (UNESCO/Ministry of Education and Higher Education/ECW) – The COVID-19 pandemic has translated into a major education crisis. In Lebanon, 1.2 million children are affected by school closures and have seen their learning routines disrupted. While Lebanon has switched to distance teaching and learning to mitigate the effects of this disruption, challenges related to preparedness, infrastructure and capacity, as well as the digital gaps, have put additional strains on students, parents, teachers, and the educational authorities.

In this context, and in the framework of their educational response to the COVID-19 crisis, UNESCO’s Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States (UNESCO Beirut) and Education Cannot Wait (ECW) quickly joined efforts to support the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in developing inclusive distance learning solutions to ensure that learning never stops.

As one of the tracks of the Ministry of Education’s strategy to respond to the COVID-19 crisis focuses on developing online learning as an alternative to school closures, UNESCO Beirut and ECW, with generous support from the French government, provided the Ministry with online learning material and digital resources to be used by teachers and students in Lebanon. 297 video lessons, covering Math, Science, and French classes, were provided by Reseau CANOPE, and are available on the online platform launched by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education for the COVID-19 response.

Minister of Education Dr Tarek Majzoub said: “We are happy to partner with UNESCO and ECW to facilitate inclusive learning opportunities for children during this period of sudden and unprecedented educational disruption. Special thanks to the French Government for its generous contribution that made this important initiative happen”, while adding: “This collective action will help build a more resilient system to develop more open and flexible approaches to reach all our children in Lebanon and to promote the values of citizenship, coexistence, and dialogue”.

This cooperation comes within the framework of UNESCO’s project “Supporting francophone teaching and learning in Lebanon”, funded by ECW with the support of the French government, and launched in November 2018. The project aims to promote the quality and effectiveness of teaching and learning in French for vulnerable Lebanese and non-Lebanese students enrolled in public schools, and is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

UNESCO’s Regional Director for Education in the Arab States, Dr Hamed al Hamami, said: “From school closures, to isolation, to a persistent sense of anxiety, the effects of this pandemic are greatly impacting children and youth. Despite the crisis, learning should never stop. This is why UNESCO is committed to supporting the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in developing remote learning solutions and ensuring inclusion and equity for all learners, so that no one is left behind. Our cooperation with the Ministry will not only help ensure continuity of education but can also contribute to building a more resilient education system for the future, through providing teachers and students with new learning material and resources ”.

Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, stated: “Lebanon deserves all our support and cooperation. UNESCO has years of experience in modeling, testing, and sharing some of the world’s most innovative learning solutions, and their ideas are now available for nations like Lebanon amidst this crisis. The admirable efforts of the Lebanese Ministry of Education to enable online learning  brings  equity and access to education for vulnerable children, including refugee and displaced girls and boys. This is how we empower these children to improve their learning, while unlocking the amazing potential for innovation. Our appreciation and gratitude to the Government of France for making this possible.”   

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Additional Resources


Notes to Editors:
Information on the Education Cannot Wait Global Fund and its investment modalities are available at: www.educationcannotwait.org 
 

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW)
ECW is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies. It was launched by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to address the urgent education needs of 75 million children and youth in conflict and crisis settings. ECW’s investment modalities are designed to usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground, ensuring relief and development organizations join forces to achieve education outcomes. Education Cannot Wait is hosted by UNICEF. The Fund is administered under UNICEF’s financial, human resources and administrative rules and regulations, while operations are run by the Fund’s own independent governance structure.
Please follow on Twitter: @EduCannotWait   @UNESCO  @YasmineSherif1 
Additional information available at: www.educationcannotwait.org  www.unesco.org 
For press inquiries:
Anouk Desgroseilliers, adesgroseilliers@un-ecw.org, +1-917-640-6820
Kent Page, kpage@unicef.org, +1-917-302-1735
For other inquiries: info@un-ecw.org

 
 

THE POWER OF EDUCATION IN EMERGENCIES: INTERVIEW WITH DENMARK’S MINISTER OF DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION RASMUS PREHN

5 May 2020 – Denmark is Education Cannot Wait’s (ECW) third largest donor, with US$79.1 million in contributions to date. In this insightful interview with Denmark’s Minister for Development Cooperation, Rasmus Prehn, we explore the importance of girls’ education and gender equality, the humanitarian-development nexus, expanded engagement with the private sector, education in emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic and more. A former high school teacher, with a master’s degree in social science, Minister Prehn has been a member of Danish Parliament since 2005, and was named Minister for Development Cooperation on June 27, 2019. Minister Prehn is the former chairman of the Danish Research, Education and Further Education Committee, a tireless advocate for education in emergencies, and a true champion for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG4: inclusive and equitable, quality education for all.

Denmark is a strong political advocate of education and girls’ education in emergencies and crisis countries. How do you see investments in education in crisis countries bringing transformative change for the overall development agenda?

RP: Education holds a huge potential for transformation. Both in respect to giving children the tools they need for a sustainable future and in respect to transforming society as we know it into a place where girls and boys, women and men, have equal rights and opportunities. An educated girl can significantly increase her income as compared to girls with no education. Her future children will have a much higher chance of surviving the first five years of their lives.

Girls living in emergency contexts are of particular risk of being out of school. They are also at higher risk of sexual- and gender-based violence, including teenage pregnancies and child marriage. Their sexual and reproductive health and rights are often under pressure during times of crisis. Supporting education is also a way to address these risks, as education provides a foundation for increased gender equality and for the protection of the rights of women and girls.

Denmark’s investments in education in crises have a two-fold aim: 1) to ensure continuity of learning for children so that they have the tools for a better future 2) to re-define gender and social norms and raise girls and boys to be equal citizens with equal rights and opportunities.

Since Education Cannot Wait became operational in 2017, Denmark has also become one of Education Cannot Wait’s biggest strategic donor partners and has made major investments in Education Cannot Wait over the past years. What are the key incentives for investing in this relatively new global fund?

RP: Denmark is very committed to work more effectively across the humanitarian-development nexus to ensure more sustainable education outcomes in areas affected by conflict and protracted crisis. This was a key incentive for Danish support to ECW right from the start and for the large contributions that have placed Denmark among the largest donors to ECW.

For the same reason, a key priority for Denmark is that ECW focuses on its mandate to bridge the humanitarian-development nexus to secure long-term education impact. This is only more relevant in light of COVID-19, which has led to the close down of schools in more than 190 countries worldwide. When responding to the COVID-19 crisis, there was a need for immediate action to enable continued learning and address protection risks linked to children being out of school, while also supporting resilient education systems.

In response to COVID-19, and as the LEGO Foundation – the philanthropic arm of a Danish world class private sector company – increased its support to Education Cannot Wait – you also decided to frontload financing for Education Cannot Wait. This is a wonderful way for governments and private sector to provide matching support. How would you describe this model example of engaging private sector?

RP: Denmark firmly believes in partnerships and collaboration to solve the challenges faced in the world today. We need to work together at all levels to make sure we leave no one behind. Collaboration across the public and private sector is one important way of ensuring progress towards common goals. We recognize and much appreciate the role and support of the LEGO Foundation towards education in emergencies. The Danish Government and the LEGO Foundation are currently strengthening collaboration in the area of education. Through close strategic dialogue and coordinated actions such as the matching support, the aim of the collaboration is to ensure synergies towards common goals and the realization of SDG4. We hope that this can set an example for enhanced private and public sector collaboration also in other sectors.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a global impact upon all areas of virtually everyone’s life. What does Denmark see as the top three priorities moving forward to achieve SDG4 (quality, inclusive education), particularly for crisis-affected children and youth already impacted by armed conflicts, forced displacement and natural disasters – and now doubly hit by COVID-19?

RP: For Denmark, quality and inclusive education is key for learning outcomes. At the same time, both quality and inclusiveness in education are impacted by the context in which children are learning. When the surrounding world is unsafe and uncertain, a pre-condition for children to learn is to ensure a protective environment. Therefore one key priority is a holistic cross-sectoral response that includes access to health care, psychosocial support and protection measures as part of education efforts.

COVID-19 has indeed added a double concern to education in emergencies. A concern that only further stresses the need to develop resilient education systems that are able to deliver quality education in crisis contexts. Be it pandemics, natural disasters or wars. A significant element is to ensure that we reach those furthest behind by using innovative and context-specific methods for distance learning. It is also important that we consider that education quality is not only about the number of children accessing education or learning outcomes, but also about teaching methods, curriculum and the social environment in schools between students and teachers, and students and their peers.

A particular concern for Denmark are the consequences that the school closures caused by COVID-19 have for both girls’ and women’s rights. We know that education is one key element to prevent social and gender norms that drive harmful practices. Where pre-COVID-19 projections showed that a decline in harmful practices could be reached, post-COVID-19 projections show that more girls will be exposed to female genital mutilation and child marriage. Therefore, quality education and establishing inclusive conditions for girls in schools through addressing harmful social and gender norms is a key priority for Denmark and also is the reason why we are part of the ECW gender reference group. The classroom reflects the surrounding society and the reverse is also true.  We must work at all levels to create inclusive conditions for girls’ access to school.

As a Member of Parliament, you have been the Chairman of the Committee on Research, Education and Further Education. What does education represent for you on a more personal level? How does this influence you in your work as a policymaker? 

RP: I could not be a bigger champion of education and skills development: this is the key to create the hope for a better future. I have immense respect for the potential offered by education at all levels to change norms in a positive way. This is why I have been preoccupied with education since my early youth. I have myself worked as a high school teacher for 8 years. I have also been a teacher in the Danish folk high schools (“højskoler”), which is an education institution invented in the 1830s with the aim to help people qualify as active members of society with the means to change the political situation and meet across social borders.

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ECW Press Release: LEGO Foundation announces $15M contribution to ECW during Global Citizen Special

THE LEGO FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES US$15 MILLION CONTRIBUTION TO EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT’S EMERGENCY RESPONSE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC DURING LADY GAGA-CURATED GLOBAL CITIZEN SPECIAL

ECW’s largest private sector donor scales up education in emergency support for children and youth caught in emergencies and crises with a powerful message during One World: Together at Home

18 April 2020, New YorkThe LEGO Foundation today announced US$15 million in funding for Education Cannot Wait’s education in emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The LEGO Foundation is the largest private sector donor to Education Cannot Wait (ECW), with a total of US$27.5 million in contributions to date. The announcement was made during ‘One World: Together At Home’, an historic, cross-platform global special organized by Global Citizen in partnership with the World Health Organization to honor frontline responders and garner support for the global fight against the pandemic.

LEGO Foundation CEO, John Goodwin, announced the contribution via a video message aired during the broadcast special. The LEGO Foundation joined a host of other private sector organizations making historic commitments to COVID-19 relief efforts during the special, alongside performances by the world’s top artists and comedians curated by Lady Gaga which includes: The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Celine Dion, Elton John, Shawn Mendes, Usher, Taylor Swift, Andrea Bocelli, Jennifer Lopez, Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Annie Lennox, The Killers, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert and more.

“Research shows that while learning through play is vital for children’s psychological, emotional and cognitive health and development, it also hones the resilience they need to overcome adversity and build their futures, which is needed now more than ever given the crisis we’re currently up against,” said John Goodwin, CEO, The LEGO Foundation. “We must support all children, including the most vulnerable children in refugee settings, to ensure they continue to have access to education and develop skills critical for them to thrive in a constantly changing world. We are honoured to collaborate and support Education Cannot Wait and our other partners who are working extremely hard in unforgiving circumstances to bring education, hope and a future to children everywhere.”

This contribution builds on recent emergency funding announced for ECW, the global fund for education in emergencies,  earlier this week by the United Kingdom. In just six days, thanks to these two contributions, ECW mobilized over US$21 million toward its US$50 million appeal to replenish its emergency funds reserve to deploy life-saving and life-sustaining  education services for crisis-affected girls and boys impacted by armed conflicts, forced displacement and natural disasters – who now also face COVID-19.

“I am deeply grateful to the LEGO Foundation for its growing and steadfast support to Education Cannot Wait, and our shared mission for children and youth in crises. ECW appreciates this generous contribution to help children and youth left furthest behind in armed conflicts, forced displacement and natural disasters, who are now doubly affected by COVID-19. There is no end in sight to how much these young souls have to suffer and they must be our absolute priority,” said Yasmine Sherif, Education Cannot Wait Director.

“The LEGO Foundation is the first private sector partner contributing to Education Cannot Wait’s emergency response to COVID-19, bringing hope to the world’s most vulnerable children through creative solutions to learning and play in the midst of the pandemic. LEGO is a shining example for all to follow and we encourage more private sector and government donor partners to come forward,” continued Sherif. “I also want to express my gratitude to our partners at Global Citizen and their supporters for providing this impactful platform ‘One World: Together at Home’ to share the critical work we are doing and encourage donors to support relief efforts.”

This funding is part of the LEGO Foundation’s US$50 million grant to support vulnerable children and youth impacted by COVID-19. It builds on ECW’s COVID-19 response by supporting play-based approaches, pre-primary education and synergies with existing ECW investments spanning some 30 crisis-affected countries to support refugee, displaced and host communities and other crisis-affected children and youth, including girls and children with disabilities who are often among the most marginalized.

ECW’s education in emergencies response to the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly being deployed across 26 crisis-affected countries and contexts, through 55 grantees from UN agencies and NGOs.  These activities will run from 6 to 12 months, and include emergency education interventions ensuring continuous learning opportunities and supporting the health and wellbeing of children, messaging on protective measures and support around risks, and increasing access to water and sanitation facilities for children and their communities.

With support from an exceptional group of artists, the One World: Together at Home global broadcast & digital special is supporting frontline healthcare workers and the World Health Organization (WHO). The United Nations and the WHO asked Global Citizen to support their COVID-19 response by bringing the world together through music and inspiring everyone to take action.

Additional Resources

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Notes to Editors:

Information on the Education Cannot Wait Global Fund and its investment modalities are available at: www.educationcannotwait.org

About the LEGO Foundation

 The LEGO Foundation aims to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow; a mission that it shares with the LEGO Group. The LEGO Foundation is dedicated to building a future where learning through play empowers children to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners. Its work is about re-defining play and re-imagining learning. In collaboration with thought leaders, influencers, educators and parents the LEGO Foundation aims to equip, inspire and activate champions for play. Learn more on www.LEGOfoundation.com.

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW)

ECW is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies. It was launched by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to address the urgent education needs of 75 million children and youth in conflict and crisis settings. ECW’s investment modalities are designed to usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground, ensuring relief and development organizations join forces to achieve education outcomes. Education Cannot Wait is hosted by UNICEF. The Fund is administered under UNICEF’s financial, human resources and administrative rules and regulations, while operations are run by the Fund’s own independent governance structure.

Please follow on Twitter: @EduCannotWait  @LEGOfoundation @YasmineSherif1    @KentPage
Additional information available at: www.educationcannotwait.org

For press inquiries:
Anouk Desgroseilliers, adesgroseilliers@un-ecw.org, +1-917-640-6820
Kent Page, kpage@unicef.org, +1-917-302-1735

For other inquiries: info@un-ecw.org

UNITED KINGDOM ANNOUNCES £5 MILLION IN ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT’S EDUCATION IN EMERGENCY RESPONSE TO COVID-19

ECW’s largest donor scales up support for children and youth caught in emergencies and crises

13 April 2020, New York – The United Kingdom, through the Department for International Development (DFID), has just announced a £5 million (approximately US$6.26 million) contribution to Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the global fund for education in emergencies.

The new funds will support ECW’s rapid deployment of emergency education services for children and youth caught in crises and emergencies. 75 million children and youth – including 39 million girls – are already impacted by armed conflicts, forced displacement, natural disasters and protracted crises, and they now face a double crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our new UK aid support will help stop the virus from infecting millions of people in the poorest countries, meaning we can end this global pandemic sooner,” said International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan in a press statement on UK aid’s overall coronavirus support package, which includes £200 million in new contributions to UK charities and international organizations, including the £5 million in dedicated contributions to ECW.

With this new contribution, the United Kingdom (UK) reaffirms its leadership in the education in emergencies sector, with a strong focus on reaching the most vulnerable and marginalized children and youth, including girls and children with disabilities. The UK is ECW’s largest donor, with £124 million (approximately US$160 million) in total contributions to date.

“We are profoundly grateful for this generous support from the United Kingdom which is being rapidly deployed to reach the world’s most vulnerable children and youth. The spread of COVID-19 is ‘a crisis upon crises’ already faced by children and youth in emergency contexts of conflicts and forced displacement, where girls are the most-exposed. With this timely support, we can mitigate the impact and sustain protection through emergency or virtual education combined with health measures for students and teachers. The UK’s speedy contribution is a reminder that a crisis is not a reason for delayed action, but rather a trigger for immediate action,”  said Yasmine Sherif, Director, Education Cannot Wait.

To address the COVID-19 pandemic, ECW has issued a global appeal to the private sector, foundations, governments and other donors to urgently replenish its emergency funds reserve with at least US$50 million in emergency funds needed over the next three months.

On 3 and 4 April, ECW rapidly released US$23 million in First Emergency Response grants to ensure swift and coordinated humanitarian responses in 26 crisis-affected countries/contexts  to support emergency education measures,  facilitate distance learning, raise community awareness of the risks associated with COVID-19, provide children with access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in schools, and prioritize mental health and psychosocial support for girls and boys whose lives, safety and wellbeing are at risk.   

A rapid assessment by ECW – carried out in close collaboration with governments, UN agencies and civil society partners in countries already affected by armed conflicts, forced displacement and natural disasters – paints an alarming picture of the massive impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on already severely strained educational systems. There is an acute shortage of distance learning tools and materials, many communities lack awareness and information and are failing to implement protective measures, teacher’s salaries are going unpaid, families are being pushed further into hunger and poverty, school feeding programmes are being disrupted, and children are being pushed to the side with limited opportunities to return to safe learning environments when the pandemic subsides.

In line with the UN’s COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan, ECW is using its existing allocation windows to rapidly adjust ongoing programmes and leverage additional emergency funding to support governments, UN agencies and civil society partners on the ground to build coordinated and effective joint responses to the pandemic.

Additional Resources

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Notes to Editors:

Information on the ECW Fund and its investment modalities are available at: www.educationcannotwait.org  

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW)

ECW is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies. It was launched by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to address the urgent education needs of 75 million children and youth in conflict and crisis settings. ECW’s investment modalities are designed to usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground, ensuring relief and development organizations join forces to achieve education outcomes. Education Cannot Wait is hosted by UNICEF. The Fund is administered under UNICEF’s financial, human resources and administrative rules and regulations, while operations are run by the Fund’s own independent governance structure.

Please follow on Twitter: @EduCannotWait  @YasmineSherif1   @KentPage  
Additional information available at: www.educationcannotwait.org

For press inquiries:
Anouk Desgroseilliers, adesgroseilliers@un-ecw.org, +1-917-640-6820
Kent Page, kpage@unicef.org, +1-917-302-1735

For other inquiries: info@un-ecw.org

CIVIL SOCIETY URGES INCREASED COMMITMENT TO EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT TO FUND AND SCALE UP COVID-19 RESPONSE EFFORTS

April 8, 2020 – Civil society organizations committed to providing access to a quality education for children and youth impacted by conflict and crisis around the world strongly urge increased support for education as a core part of global COVID-19 response efforts, including $50 million in new funding for Education Cannot Wait (ECW).

More than 1.5 billion children and youth around the world are affected by school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, impacting over 91 per cent of the world’s student population. Learners already vulnerable and affected by crises, including armed conflicts, forced displacement, natural disasters and protracted crises, are now facing the added hardship brought on by this pandemic.

ECW, the global fund dedicated to education in emergencies, operates in more than 30 countries to address the urgent education needs of 75 million children and youth in conflict and crisis settings.

ECW is taking steps to ensure that 60 per cent of all students benefiting from ECW investments are girls, while gender-sensitivity is integrated across all ECW-funded programmes. ECW is also committed to the inclusion of children with disabilities and providing an accessible and inclusive response to leave no one behind.

ECW has taken quick action in response to COVID-19 by conducting rapid assessments in countries with ECW-supported programmes. These assessments paint a worrying picture of the significant impact that COVID-19 is having on already severely strained education systems, including an acute shortage of accessible and inclusive distance learning tools, materials and competencies. This means that millions of pupils will not be able to access learning information and complete the current school year as planned. In addition, many areas lack hygienic knowledge, as well as supplies and facilities.

As a result, ECW has activated its First Emergency Response funding window to re-programme current grants and deliver new funding. ECW expects that an initial $50 million in additional funding will be required to respond to the COVID-19 related education needs for the coming three months. These funds will continue to ensure learning continuity, support accelerated learning, facilitate distance learning, raise further awareness of risks associated with COVID-19, provide WASH services, and prioritize MHPSS and protection efforts.

We welcome this immediate response, as well as all future steps to increase the flexibility of ongoing programmes. As civil society representatives, we urgently call upon current and prospective ECW donors to commit additional resources to meet this funding goal.

By making specific, measurable commitments and swiftly delivering increased funding for ECW we can take significant steps to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on all crisis-affected and displaced children and youth seeking a quality education.

View original on Save the Children

Signatories

ActionAid

Care International

Children in Crisis

Christian Blind Mission

Concern

Finn Church Aid

Finnish Refugee Council

Global Campaign for Education-US

Global Citizen

Humanity & Inclusion

International Rescue Committee

Jesuit Refugee Service

Malala Fund

Mercy Corps

Norwegian Refugee Council

ONE

Oxfam

Plan International

Right to Play

Save the Children

The RET

Theirworld

UNICEF USA

War Child

World Vision International

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT RELEASES US$23 MILLION IN 24 HOURS IN EMERGENCY GRANTS TO THE COVID-19 HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

Education Cannot Wait (ECW) announces a new series of emergency grants of a total $8 million to deploy holistic education services to protect and support vulnerable girls and boys facing the COVID-19 pandemic in 10 countries/emergency contexts.

IN ADDITION TO $15 MILLION YESTERDAY, TODAY’S US$8 MILLION ALLOCATION DEPLOYS EDUCATION IN EMERGENCY SERVICES TO CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN A TOTAL OF 26 CRISIS-AFFECTED COUNTRIES AND CONTEXTS

3 April 2020, New York – Education Cannot Wait (ECW) announces a new series of emergency grants totalling $23 million. Today, ECW released US$8 million, in addition to US$15 million issued 24 hours ago, to deploy holistic education services to protect and support vulnerable girls and boys facing the COVID-19 pandemic in 10 crisis-affected countries. This is the second rapid ECW allocation towards the global response to the pandemic, expanding the Fund’s support to date to a total of $23 million in 26 countries/emergency contexts. The funds are expected to reach these countries within days.

With this new funding allocation, designed to address critical education needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, ECW calls on private sector, foundations, governments and other donors to urgently replenish its emergency funds reserve with at least $50 million required to respond to expected additional needs and emergencies in the immediate future.

“Education Cannot Wait and all our partners are acting with the fierce urgency of now,” said Education Cannot Wait Director, Yasmine Sherif. “We deliver with unprecedented speed in coordination with all actors on the ground, but we need more funds to continue to help the most vulnerable of the world’s population: forcibly displaced and crisis-affected children and youth, especially girls who are the most exposed. If not now, when?”

To date, ECW’s emergency funding for the COVID-19 response has been allocated to a total of 55 grantees comprising UN agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations who are coordinating their efforts together with host-governments in-country through inter-agency humanitarian structures, such as the Education Cluster or the Education in Emergencies Working Group. Humanitarian Coordinators/Resident Coordinators in each of the 26 countries/contexts have been notified and welcome the speed of Education Cannot Waits rapid support to the education sector.

Activities supported through this second series of emergency grants run from 6 to 12 months and include:

  • Emergency Education Measures: With the total disruption of the usual education systems in emergency-affected areas, grants are to support alternative delivery models, including informal education materials at the household level, as well as scaling up distance education programmes, particularly via interactive radio. Social emotional learning and psychosocial support are prominent components of the academic curriculum to be provided in these alternative delivery models.
  • Messaging and Support Around Risks: ECW grants are to support information campaigns and the scaling up of risk communications and community engagement with target populations. Messaging, tailored to local languages and contexts, are to give practical advice about how to stay safe, including through handwashing and social distancing. Refugees, displaced and marginalized people may also experience xenophobia and stigma, requiring mental health and psychosocial support. Parents and teachers are to receive COVID19-specific guidance to promote the resilience and the psychosocial wellbeing of children and youth at home.
  • Upgrading Water and Sanitation Facilities in Schools: This is to benefit both students and the wider community as handwashing is a first line of defense against COVID-19. Even when schools and learning facilities are officially closed, in many cases there is still access to these facilities, and they can serve as crucial hubs to increase access to handwashing and distribute hygiene materials and kits.

ECW’s First Emergency Funding (FER) window is specifically designed to support rapid, agile coordinated education responses in times of new sudden onset or escalating crises. It is uniquely designed to ensure education can play its crucial lifesaving and life-sustaining role for affected children and youth in emergency settings.

With these new emergency funding grants, ECW has now allocated over $110 million through its First Emergency Response window since the Fund started its operations in 2017 – supporting rapid education responses in more than 30 crisis-affected countries.

Additional information on emergency grants per country/crisis:

  • Central African Republic (CAR): Total of $1 million allocated. Grantees: Jesuit Refugee Service ($75,000), Norwegian Refugee Council ($175,000), UNICEF ($750,000)
  • Chad: Total of $1 million allocated. Grantees: Consortium Humanity International & Cooperazione Internazionale-COOPI ($300,000), UNHCR ($400,000), WFP ($300,000)
  • Ecuador: Total of $550,000 allocated. Grantee: UNICEF ($550,000)
  • Malawi: Total of $325,000 allocated. Grantees: Save the Children ($125,000), UNICEF ($200,000)
  • Mali: Total of $1.5 million allocated. Grantees: UNICEF ($750,000), UNHCR ($750,000)
  • Mozambique: Total of $325,000 allocated. Grantees: Plan International ($100,000), UNICEF ($150,000), World Vision International ($75,000)
  • Niger: Total of $1.5 million allocated. Grantees: Plan International ($225,000), Save the Children ($225,000), UNICEF ($450,000), WFP ($375,000), World Vision International ($225,000)
  • Nigeria: Total of $1 million allocated. Grantees: Plan International ($125,000), Save the Children ($125,000), Street Child ($125,000), UNICEF ($625,000)
  • Peru: Total of $300,000 allocated. Grantee: RET International ($300,000)
  • Yemen: Total of $500,000 allocated. Grantee: UNICEF ($500,000)

“THE FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW”

The Education Cannot Wait Global Fund (ECW) allocates a total of US$15 million in an initial series of emergency grants for the rapid delivery of holistic education services to protect and support vulnerable children and youth hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in 16 countries/emergency contexts. These girls and boys are already impacted by armed conflicts, forced displacement, natural disasters and protracted crises. An additional series of grants to support the response in other crisis-affected countries will be released shortly and reach partners in-country in the coming days.

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT ALLOCATES US$15 MILLION IN EMERGENCY EDUCATION FUNDING TO SUPPORT COVID-19 GLOBAL HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

2 April 2020, New York – The Education Cannot Wait Global Fund (ECW) allocates a total of US$15 million in an initial series of emergency grants for the rapid delivery of holistic education services to protect and support vulnerable children and youth hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in 16 countries/emergency contexts. These girls and boys are already impacted by armed conflicts, forced displacement, natural disasters and protracted crises. An additional series of grants to support the response in other crisis-affected countries will be released shortly and reach partners in-country in the coming days.

“1.5 billion children are out of school. The majority of the 31 million children uprooted from their homes today – including over 17 million internally displaced, 12.7 million refugees and 1.1 million asylum seekers – are at great risk,” said Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, Chair of Education Cannot Wait’s High-level Steering Group and UN Special Envoy for Global Education. “Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of ‘the fierce urgency of now,’ and the crisis for these vulnerable children is right now and that is why ECW is making its full emergency reserves available immediately.”

This emergency allocation supports the United Nations coordinated $2 billion global humanitarian appeal launched on 25 March to fight COVID-19 in many of the world’s most vulnerable countries – already wracked by crises and now doubly-impacted by COVID-19.

As the pandemic continues to spread, upending entire countries and education systems worldwide, some 75 million children and youth – whose education was already disrupted due armed conflict, forced displacement, climate change-induced disasters and other crises – now find themselves in double jeopardy. Without the protection of a safe, equitable, inclusive quality education, they face increased risk of suffering the brunt of the pandemic, at higher risk of neglect, abuse, exploitation and violence, and of being even further left behind. Education is indeed be lifesaving for these vulnerable children and youth.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health crisis upon an already existing global education crisis affecting 75 million children and youth, of whom 39 million are girls, in war-torn countries and forced displacement. They are at extreme risk in the face of this unprecedented pandemic. We need to double our efforts and act with decisive speed. In the face of such immense exposure, immediate action is not only essential – it is existential. They are the ones furthest left behind and the ones we need to reach first,” said Education Cannot Wait Director Yasmine Sherif. “We are releasing our entire emergency reserve in two batches to support governments, UN agencies and civil society to reach them. ECW’s emergency funding will be with them in just a few days.”

The series of ECW’s First Emergency Response grants is allocated to 30 UN agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations who are coordinating their efforts together with host-governments in-country through inter-agency humanitarian structures, such as the Education Cluster or the Education in Emergencies Working Group.

The duration of grants varies from 6 to 12 months. Activities ensure quality learning for the most vulnerable, in a safe, equitable, inclusive environment and through innovative and cost-effective responses in affected countries. Interventions are focusing on the following areas:

Emergency Education Measures:  With the total disruption of the usual education systems in emergency-affected areas, grants are to support alternative delivery models, including informal education materials at the household level, as well as scaling up distance education programmes, particularly via interactive radio. Social emotional learning and psychosocial support are prominent components of the academic curriculum to be provided in these alternative delivery models.

Messaging and Support Around Risks: ECW grants are to support information campaigns and the scaling up of risk communications and community engagement with target populations. Messaging, tailored to local languages and contexts, are to give practical advice about how to stay safe, including through handwashing and social distancing.  Refugees, displaced and marginalized people may also experience xenophobia and stigma, requiring mental health and psychosocial support. Parents and teachers are to receive COVID19-specific guidance to promote the resilience and the psychosocial wellbeing of children and youth at home.

Upgrading Water and Sanitation Facilities in Schools: This is to benefit both students and the wider community as handwashing is a first line of defense against COVID-19. Even when schools and learning facilities are officially closed, in many cases there is still access to these facilities, and they can serve as crucial hubs to increase access to handwashing and distribute hygiene materials and kits.

ECW’s First Emergency Funding (FER) window is specifically designed to support rapid, agile coordinated education responses in times of new sudden onset or escalating crises. It is uniquely designed to ensure education can play its crucial lifesaving and life-sustaining role for affected children and youth in emergency settings.

Due to the exceptional nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, ECW issued a simplified application process to fast-track applications from partners for this emergency, ensuring funds can urgently be disbursed to roll out activities on the ground.

ECW’s allocation of much needed emergency funding to address critical education needs as a result of COVID-19 leaves a $50 million funding shortfall that will affect the Fund’s ability to respond to other needs or emergencies in the immediate future. ECW calls on the private sector, foundations, governments and other donors to urgently make new donations to ECW to support these efforts.

With these new emergency funding grants, ECW has now allocated over $100 million through its First Emergency Response window since the Fund started its operations in 2017 – supporting rapid education responses in more than 30 crisis-affected countries.

To contribute to ECW’s emergency reserve, please contact Nasser Faqih (nfaqih@unicef.org) or Madge Thomas (mathomas@unicef.org).

Additional information on emergency grants per country/crisis:

  • Afghanistan: Total of $1.25 million allocated. Grantees: UNICEF ($1.25 million)
  • Bangladesh: Total of $1.5 million allocated. Grantees: BRAC ($900,000), Save the Children ($600,000)
  • Brazil: Total of $250,000 million allocated. Grantee: UNICEF ($250,000)
  • Burkina Faso: Total of $1.5 million allocated. Grantees: EDUCO ($300,000), Plan International ($500,000), Save the Children ($250,000), UNICEF ($300,000), UNHCR ($150,000)
  • Colombia: Total of $1 million allocated. Grantees: Save the Children ($1 million)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): Total of $1.5 million allocated. Grantees: AVSI ($340,000), Save the Children ($140,000), UNESCO ($520,000), War Child Canada ($500,000)
  • Ethiopia: Total of $1million allocated. Grantees: Save the Children ($500,000), UNICEF ($500,000)
  • Palestine: Total of $850,000 allocated. Grantees: Save the Children ($400,000), UNICEF ($450,000)  
  • Somalia – Federal Government of Somalia and Member States: Total of $800,000 allocated. Grantee: ADRA ($800,000)
  • Somalia – Puntland: Total of $650,000 allocated. Grantee: Save the Children ($650,000)
  • Somalia – Somaliland: Total of $700,000 allocated. Grantee: UNICEF ($700,000)
  • Syria: Total of $500,000 allocated. Grantee: UNICEF ($500,000)
  • Uganda: Total of $1 million allocated. Grantees: Save the Children ($525,000), UNHCR ($475,000)
  • Venezuela: Total of $1 million allocated. Grantee: UNICEF ($1 million)
  • Zimbabwe: Total of $500,000 allocated. Grantees: Plan International ($75,000), Save the Children ($175,000), UNICEF ($175,000), World Vision ($75,000)
  • Regional Response for Palestine Refugees: Total of $1 million allocated. Grantee: UNRWA ($1 million)

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Notes to Editors:

Information on the ECW Fund and its investment modalities are available at: www.educationcannotwait.org

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW)

ECW is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies. It was launched by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to address the urgent education needs of 75 million children & youth in conflict and crisis settings. ECW’s investment modalities are designed to usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground, ensuring relief and development organizations join forces to achieve education outcomes. Education Cannot Wait is hosted by UNICEF. The Fund is administered under UNICEF’s financial, human resources and administrative rules and regulations, while operations are run by the Fund’s own independent governance structure.

Please follow on Twitter: @EduCannotWait  @YasmineSherif1   @KentPage
Additional information available at: www.educationcannotwait.org

For press inquiries:
Anouk Desgroseilliers, adesgroseilliers@un-ecw.org, +1-917-640-6820
Kent Page, kpage@unicef.org, +1-917-302-1735

For other inquiries: info@un-ecw.org

THE LEGO GROUP AND THE LEGO FOUNDATION SUPPORT CHILDREN AND FAMILIES IMPACTED BY COVID-19

‘This generous donation will allow Education Cannot Wait to scale up its support of a coordinated response among governments, UN agencies and civil society organizations to bring a glimmer of hope to children of all ages in the most crisis-affected countries in the world.’ – Yasmine Sherif, Director, Education Cannot Wait

30 March 2020 – Given the unprecedented times that coronavirus is causing around the world, the LEGO Foundation is donating $50 million to support children most in need.

The mission of the LEGO Foundation is to ensure no child goes without play and educational opportunities. Given the impact that coronavirus is having around the world, the charity has donated $50 million to ensure that children in the most need will continue to have access to learning through play.

Three groups of partners will receive the donation, according to the official statement:

  • Education Cannot Wait, which provides education for children caught in emergencies and protracted crises.
  • A selection of existing LEGO Foundation partners whose work with children and families is under additional pressure from COVID-19.
  • Charity partners serving communities where the LEGO Group has a significant presence. Our aim is to urgently reach crisis-affected children with essential supplies and provide support to continue learning through play.

“We cannot let COVID-19 setback a generation of children. Research shows that while learning through play is vital for children’s psychological, emotional and cognitive health and development, it also hones the resilience they need to overcome adversity and build their futures. We must support all children, including the most vulnerable in society, to ensure they continue to have access to education and develop skills critical for them to thrive in a constantly changing world,” says John Goodwin, CEO, the LEGO Foundation. “We are honored to be able to collaborate and support Education Cannot Wait and our other partners who are working extremely hard in unforgiving circumstances to bring education, hope and a future to the most vulnerable children.”

“We are grateful that the LEGO Foundation has stepped forward as the first private sector partner to contribute to our COVID-19 response,” says Yasmine Sherif, Education Cannot Wait Director. “This generous donation will allow Education Cannot Wait to scale up its support of a coordinated response among governments, UN agencies and civil society organizations to bring a glimmer of hope to children of all ages in the most crisis-affected countries in the world. Learning must continue in the midst of the pandemic. The LEGO Foundation’s commitment to learning through play is a shining example of what’s possible and we encourage more philanthropic, private sector and government donor partners to come forward.”

View originals on Lego Foundation and Brickfanatics websites.

COVID-19 AND EDUCATION IN EMERGENCIES

Photo ©UNICEF/UN0339412/Frank Dejongh

Armed conflicts, forced displacement, climate change induced disasters and protracted crises have disrupted the education of 75 million children and youth globally. And that number is growing in an unprecedented way with the spread of COVID-19.  Education has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic with 1.53 billion learners out of school and 184 country-wide school closures, impacting 87.6% of the world’s total enrolled learners. Drop-out rates across the globe are likely to rise as a result of this massive disruption to education access.

While other critical needs such as health, water and sanitation are being responded to, educational needs cannot be forgotten and these have an equally detrimental impact if left unaddressed. The ‘pile-on effect’ of the coronavirus is that, during the global COVID-19 pandemic, interruptions to education can have long term implications — especially for the most vulnerable.  There is a real risk of regression for children whose basic, foundational learning (reading, math, languages, etc.) was not strong to begin with. And millions of children who have already been deprived of their right to education, particularly girls, are being more exposed to health and well-being risks (both psychosocial and physical) during COVID-19. These are the children and youth we at Education Cannot Wait (ECW) prioritize, including:

  • Girls: Young and adolescent girls are twice as likely to be out of school in crisis situations and face greater barriers to education and vulnerabilities such as domestic/gender-based violence when not in school.
  • Refugees, displaced and migrant children: These populations often fall between the cracks as national policies might not necessarily include these vulnerable groups and they must be included and catered for in any global responses to this crisis if this has not already occurred.
  • Children and youth with disabilities: Along with other marginalized populations, including children from minority groups, are neglected in the best of times and have lower educational outcomes than their peers.
  • Young people affected by trauma or mental health issues: Schools and learning centers are places for communities to address health related issues, including mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), which the most vulnerable students rely on for their wellbeing and development in order to learn.

Without access to education, as shocks are experienced – including loss of life, health impacts and loss of livelihoods – children are more vulnerable and unprotected.  As household finances are being strained and needs increase, out-of-school children are more likely to be exposed to risks like family violence, child labor, forced marriage, trafficking and exploitation, including by responders. For the most vulnerable children, education is lifesaving. Not only does it provide safety and protection, importantly, it also instils hope for a brighter future.

So continuing education through alternative learning pathways, as soon as possible, must also be a top priority right now, to ensure the interruption to education is as limited as possible.  We urgently need to support teachers, parents/caregivers, innovators, communications experts and all those who are positioned to provide education, whether through radio programmes, home-schooling, online learning and other innovative approaches.

What does this mean for responders like ECW? In the short term, this means we must maintain access to learning and ensure kids retain knowledge and skills (i.e. through temporary remote, alternative or distance learning programmes). In the medium term, this means catching up and transitioning students who have fallen behind or had a break in their education to re-join their level of schooling and competency (i.e. automatic promotion with a mandatory catchup/remedial period at the beginning). In the longer term, this means there is a need for education systems to be set up with contingency capacities to mitigate and manage risk in the future.

HOW ECW IS POSITIONED TO RESPOND TO THE COVID-19 GLOBAL PANDEMIC

Education Cannot Wait, the global fund for education in emergencies, was launched in 2016 at the World Humanitarian summit to coordinate responses and raise financing for education in emergencies, and distributes funds where they are needed most and as quickly as possible, to continue children’s education in times of crisis.

  • Given our geographical footprint across emergency and crisis-context countries and the vulnerable child and youth population that ECW serves, COVID-19 represents yet another burden in a series of challenges already experienced by them, their families and communities.
  • Crisis response is what we know, and we consider COVID-19 to be a crisis of profound magnitude for all humanity, unprecedented in our lifetime.
  • We are closely connected to our partners on the ground in vulnerable communities and are working with them to urgently assess additional needs and determine what support and funding are most impactful. This is how we work to ensure no child is left behind or exploited by this pandemic. After extensive consultations with these partners and across the UN system, we are responding to the COVID-19 crisis with every tool at our disposal.
  • In our education in emergency responses, we consider holistic spectrum of needs that children and youth, their parents and caregivers, educators and communities face during crisis. This includes MHPSS, child protection, school feeding, gender equality, access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene education, school infrastructure, teacher training and quality learning materials.
  • Through holistically planned interventions, we take a birds-eye view of the entire developmental needs of a child in crisis and ensure our funded responses address their needs and coordinate wraparound support or fill gaps not supported by others.
  • We also require our partner organizations to apply child safeguarding measures, manage risks to children, including risks associated with personnel and volunteers who are in contact with vulnerable children, and to report child safeguarding concerns to ECW.
  • We detail below how ECW ensures that these principles and the complex and holistic needs of affected children and youth are met within COVID-19 responses that we fund.

SUPPORT AND EXPERTISE ECW IS PROVIDING DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS

Our immediate challenge is to educate children where they are, within the infrastructure and setting they are in. This requires innovation and creativity to enhance remote learning tools, services and education. ECW has a range of expertise and background in innovative education solutions in crisis situations, including addressing mental health and wellbeing needs.  Our support includes:

  • Complying and coordinating with the UN’s overall guidance and response. At the country level, we coordinate responses with the UN Humanitarian/Resident Coordinator and Designated Official for Security, as well as UN agencies to determine parameters and priorities, risk-assessments and directives, while ensuring the critical importance of education in the response is recognized and prioritized. We continue to coordinate responses through the Global Education Cluster and UNHCR (for refugee situations).
  • At the global level, ECW is part of UNESCO’s Global COVID-19 Education Coalition and, as a UN-hosted fund, ECW participates in all other multilateral coordination efforts undertaken by the broader UN system and UN Appeals. ECW uses both our First Emergency Response (FER) or the Acceleration Facility window to support these initiatives as relevant and necessary.
  • ECW’s priority is to provide and deploy urgent funding and use our in-built agility and emergency-design to respond quickly to education needs during the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath. ECW funds and ensures quality learning for the most vulnerable, in a safe, inclusive environment and through innovative and cost-effective responses in affected countries.
  • For existing countries that we support, this means: Organizations can apply under the First Emergency Response (FER) and Multi-Year Resilience Programme (MYRP) windows for funding, or to quickly and easily re-programme and re-orient their efforts in line with local needs and coordinated measures.  We provide immediate support and fast-track any requests.
  • For new countries and regions that need our support that means: If education has been affected as a result of the COVID-19 crisis in a country we haven’t worked with, and that meets ECW’s criteria, they can apply to our COVID FER window or Acceleration Facility. Proposals may enable local and international civil society organizations, NGOs, UN agencies, government bodies and others to respond to the needs they are seeing on the ground.
  • Based on our connection to front-line responders and humanitarian expertise, we provide support, technical guidance and expertise to our partners in affected communities to ensure the most vulnerable are not left behind and that children’s immediate needs – education, health well-being and more – are met.
    • For instance, access to clean water and sanitation, as well as hygiene education (WASH) is critical for every school-aged child right now. ECW can provide technical expertise, funding and infrastructure support to ensure children continue to manage their hygiene and health, as part of their education.
    • ECW wants to ensure that children and adolescents don’t fall behind, but gain tools needed to ‘weather this storm’ and develop skills to better navigate life’s challenges afterwards. We collaborate broadly with the private sector, innovators, civil society groups, influencers and others to achieve these aims.

ECW’S PRINCIPLES FOR ASSESSING COVID-19 RELATED FUNDING APPLICATIONS

  • We know children and adolescents are more at-risk during crises: When children lose access to education they lose a critical opportunity for protection. To safeguard children in this fluid situation, we encourage proposals that:
    • Prioritize MHPSS and other protection activities, i.e. addressing gender-based and domestic violence;
    • Apply the 2019 Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action and the 2010 INEE Minimum Standards for Education: Preparedness, Response, Recovery.
  • We recognize the difference between innovation, technology and good solutions: Because many of our beneficiaries do not have access to internet connectivity, computers or smartphones, innovation through technology may not be feasible. Innovation alone doesn’t always represent quality in learning. Reponses may channel creative thinking on how to deliver education differently or build on/expand prior local learnings.  We consider all responses to remote learning – high tech, low tech and no tech – provided the response is relevant, feasible and reaches all affected children and youth, can be used and understood by children, teachers and parents, and that content is context and language specific (software, hardware, radio-based learning etc.).  We encourage responses that build on or utilize locally-available infrastructure and services. We require information on amount of input, time intensiveness and accessibility/reach.
  • We know good teachers are our best hope for kids to learn: Teacher well-being is paramount to building a workforce of compassionate change makers. We recognize continuity of salary and job security are essential for teachers that work in ECW-funded areas. We ensure that teacher salaries and incentives provided in our grants continue and welcome other proposals that support teachers and quality teaching during COVID.
  • Crises are a difficult, confusing and stressful time: While most children and youth are resilient, they may experience increased stress and anxiety during times of uncertainty. Existing mental health concerns may be exacerbated when lacking the structure, support and interaction with peers at school. ECW prioritizes MHPSS as part of the COVID-19 education response and, in alignment with the IASC’s MHPSS Reference Group’s messages and activities and resources and lessons learned shared by INEE and IFRC’s Psychosocial Reference Center, encourages responses that help children deal with stress during the outbreak.
  • Leaving no girl behind: To ensure girls and young women do not face additional inequity and fall further behind in their education during this pandemic, we prioritize solutions that analyze and address their specific needs and rights as part of the COVID-19 response. We encourage initiatives that prevent barriers like the burden of caregiving, inequitable distribution of learning resources and marginalization in the home, to increase access and opportunity for girls to learn and achieve equally during COVID-19.
  • A wide definition of ‘education’: It is important for responses to demonstrate how they address the wide scope of needs that children currently face. We recognize the value that education plays in ensuring broader needs are met. Responses which also achieve outcomes in nutrition, water and sanitation, health, gender equality, protection and MHPSS are encouraged and should identify how these outcomes are achieved, but also how proposals that address these issues facilitate better learning outcomes overall.
  • As simple and quick as possible: This is a crisis – not a time to fill out endless applications. While we want to ensure that all proposals meet our basic standards and set key deliverables, our objective is to make the application process as simple, quick, expedient, user-friendly and self-explanatory as possible so that those with good ideas and a way to execute locally can help educate the communities they are in. The form allows partners to make simple inputs on proposals and enables simplified reporting and quick turnaround of approvals and funding.
  • Added value and CSO/ grassroots support: We serve the often forgotten and most at risk within crisis-affected countries and prioritize partners that can support hard to reach, underserved children, girls, youth and communities in affected areas. Any new or re-programmed investments must demonstrate how they coordinate with other responders in the region and fill a clear gap to support and complement other partners’ responses to the crisis. In addition, ECW has the ability to support civil society and capacity building as well as CSO and grassroots organizations which cannot be funded by the UN’s emergency response system. Recognizing that localized information, support and response is now critical, we invite proposals from all organizations that can support local educational responses and advocacy.
  • Resilience building: Longer term outcomes to build resilience and for alternative use and impact should be included in proposals where applicable.

HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT US TO HELP THE MOST VULNERABLE CHILDREN AND YOUTH

With needs escalating by the day, there are three very concrete ways that governments, private sector, foundations, NGOs and individuals can partner with ECW at this difficult time, to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure quality education continues globally, especially in the most vulnerable countries, for the next critical months:

  1. Help us innovate and co-finance education solutions: ECW is actively working with partners in government and the private sector, especially those involved in education, ICT and entertainment, to engage in developing and financing solutions to ensure the continuity of education. We believe this is an opportunity for demonstrating solidarity between the private sector, government and innovators to invent solutions for what we hope is a temporary crisis. This would also strengthen capacity to respond to education priorities in future crises as whatever we develop and invent now becomes useful global public goods benefiting children and youth, especially those who are refugees, internally displaced, migrants or caught in armed conflicts or protracted crises. If partners would like to support this type of innovation and funding, we are also able to allocate resources from our Acceleration Facility to co-finance coordinated efforts and pilot projects.
  2. Provide funding to help us response to urgent education needs in the most vulnerable countries:  Our current grantees, including (governments, UN agencies and civil society organizations) are striving to sustain critical support functions and find new ways to respond. Overall, our initial estimates are that the needs in the 26 countries currently receiving support from ECW require additional support of at least US$35-40 million to support activities in response to COVID-19 for the following 3-4 months. This is just over US$1 million average for each country, which is the minimum we can expect they need (and, it is likely more will be needed in most countries). We encourage contributions to our ECW Multi-Donor Trust Fund from the Government or KOICA towards this amount and we ensure close communication to share the impact that we are having.
  3. If you believe you can respond to local education needs, submit a proposal: Apply to ECW via our COVID-19 First Emergency Response Application process, through the in-country humanitarian coordination forum, either the Education Cluster or the Education in Emergency Working Group in in your country/region. Alternatively, you can submit a proposal through the ECW Acceleration facility to support education in your community.

Download the ECW COVID-19 and Education in Emergencies factsheet.

For inquiries, contact info@un-ecw.org.  For updates, please follow: @EduCannotWait and visit: educationcannotwait.org