Full speech of Rt Hon Gordon Brown, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education & Chair of the ECW High-Level Steering Group (HLSG) on Action for Refugee Education
In 2016 world leaders agreed to strengthen the international response to the global
refugee crisis and grow support to meet the needs of refugee and host communities.
This included promising “to ensure all refugee children are receiving education within a few months of arrival and to prioritize budgetary provision to facilitate this, including support for host countries”.
The new Global Compact on Refugees sets out a Programme of Action which includes commitments to “expand and enhance the quality and inclusiveness of national education systems to facilitate access by refugee and host community children and youth to primary, secondary and tertiary education”. It also commits to “provide more direct financial support to minimize the time refugee boys and girls spend out of education”.
However, more than half of the world’s refugee children – 3.7 million – remain out of school.
Despite this we believe that progress is possible and that having agreed our aims we must act to deliver them.
The High-Level Meeting on Action for Refugee Education will bring together refugee hosting states, donor governments, multilateral institutions, the private sector and civil society to agree how to accelerate and improve efforts to deliver these commitments.
The Meeting will explore efforts to:
• include refugee populations in national education systems
• improve learning outcomes for refugee and host communities
• and support greater responsibility sharing, especially via more and better financing.
World renowned American actor Will Smith will be bungee-jumping on his 50th birthday to raise funds for the education of girls, boys and youth who live in conflicts and crises!
Will Smith is inviting his fans to donate funds to support his jump from a helicopter over the Grand Canyon for his anniversary on 25 September. Returns of the campaign will be allocated to the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) fund through Global Citizen who is partnering with the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation on this initiative.
Will Smith believes “every child should have access to the transformative power of an education, which provides the chance to thrive, live and succeed”. His dedication to empowering disadvantaged children and youth spans over two decades through the foundation he and his wife set up. ECW is excited and extremely grateful for this opportunity to help extend Will Smith’s long-lasting commitment to education to the children and youth caught in some of the world’s worst crises.
“Will Smith’s bungee-jumping to campaign for our most critical contemporary cause: education in conflict and crisis countries, is a sheer demonstration of courage which should be an inspiration to all” says ECW Director, Yasmine Sherif. “We need courage and bold action to set the course straight and close the education gap that leaves behind 75 million children and youth whose education is disrupted by crisis.”
ECW extends it gratitude to Global Citizen who has been a strong advocate for the Fund since its inception and has helped facilitate this fantastic opportunity!
New York, 22 June 2018 – The Education Cannot Wait (ECW) fund announces an allocation of US$3 million to support the delivery of education services to newly displaced children in the ongoing Syria crisis. This allocation will support aid organizations in meeting urgent growing education needs resulting from new population displacements in Idleb and Aleppo Governorates in the North-West of the country and in Deir-ez-Zour, Hassakeh and Raqqa Governorates in the North-East.
The funds will improve access to quality education and learning opportunities for 20,000 newly displaced children and will support 500 education personnel. The 12-month programmes will include activities such as establishing safe learning spaces, delivering learning and recreational materials, distributing stipends and teaching resources to teachers and mobilizing communities in support of education. Psychological support will also be provided to help children recover from the trauma they endured in active conflicts areas.
This allocation will build on the coordination and implementation architecture established under the ongoing Whole of Syria (WoS) ECW $15 million Initial investment. Activities to be implemented under this new allocation are also in line with the Syria Education Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) 2018.
New York, 1 June 2018 – The Education Cannot Wait (ECW) fund announces an allocation of US$1.5 million to bring thousands of children back to school in Papua New Guinea. The island nation was struck by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake at the end of February which affected more than half a million people and damaged key infrastructures, including hundreds of schools.
This ECW emergency response allocation will provide resources for humanitarian aid organizations to immediately start restoring education services, particularly through the setting up of temporary learning spaces. The funding will cover activities for a period of one year.
“It is urgent for children to recover a sense of normalcy in their lives after living through such a disaster. Going back to school is crucial to help them overcome the trauma they have endured and to ensure they continue to learn and thrive,” says ECW Director, Yasmine Sherif.
ECW’s emergency response allocation targets some of the areas most affected by the earthquake in the Southern Highlands Province and in Hela Province. Thanks to ECW’s support, children will benefit from a safe learning environment while damaged infrastructure is being rehabilitated. They will also receive psychological support as well as learning and recreational materials. At total of 10,000 teachers will also be supported through these funds.
This is ECW’s second First Emergency Response allocation this year, further to a $3 million allocation announced in April to support the education response in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
I applaud the new EU policy framework aiming to increase the humanitarian funding for education in emergencies and crises to 10 per cent of its overall humanitarian aid budget as of 2019. This announcement marks a key milestone in our collective efforts to fill the funding gap to meet the urgent education needs of millions of children and youth affected by conflict and natural disasters across the globe.
In situations of conflict and crises, safe access to a quality education is absolutely crucial to provide children with physical, psychosocial and cognitive protection that can be both life-sustaining and life-saving. Yet, education is often one of the first service to be disrupted and one of the last to be restored.
Lack of access to education directly impacts children’s safety and well-being. All children are exposed to threats during and after emergencies. However girls and boys who are out of school are at much higher risk of violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. This includes sexual violence and exploitation, recruitment or use by armed forces or groups and hazardous child labor.
The new EU policy framework also aims to bring children caught up in humanitarian crises back to learning within 3 months. Along with the EU increased funding, this will undeniably play a significant role in supporting a quick and effective response to needs.
The EU has been instrumental in raising the centrality of education in the humanitarian response, consistently stepping up its funding in recent years. I am hopeful that this new announcement will set yet another example for other donors to follow through. There is no time to waste, the lives and future of millions of children are at stake.
Education Cannot Wait (ECW)