GCE and ECW joint statement on the occasion of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly

10 September 2020, New York – On the occasion of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) and the Education Cannot Wait Fund (ECW) jointly call on governments and the donor community to COMMIT funding to ECW for the education of those furthest left behind in emergencies and crises.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the world’s education systems, causing the closure of schools in more than 160 countries, affecting over 1 billion learners.
This impact was felt most dramatically in emergency contexts where education has been disrupted by armed conflicts, forced displacement, climate-change induced disasters and protracted crises.

With timely and predictable funding from many donors since its inception in 2016, ECW’s investments have reached nearly 3.5 million children and youth by end of 2019 in 30 of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. For its part, GCE continues to be the largest civil society global movement working to ensure the right to education in all contexts and for all people, and to promote Civil Society participation to improve decision making mechanism and accountability processes.

GCE and ECW both tirelessly work to realise the right to free, quality, public education for all. This right can only be guaranteed if timely and predictable funding is ensured for educational systems threatened or affected by emergencies and if civil society participation is recognised as essential to improve decision-making mechanisms and accountability processes. Another US$300 million is needed to support ECW’s emergency education response to the COVID-19 pandemic in ongoing crises.

Such commitment will allow ECW to reach close to 9 million children by 2021 and will enable fragile public education systems to be strengthened or rebuilt, thereby meeting the promise for equal and free education to all children, especially those furthest left behind.

We call on the donors, governments and agencies to STEP UP their support to ECW this year. We are in a race against time: millions of vulnerable children and youth need urgent help to safeguard their lives and future.