EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT APPROVES US$20.1 MILLION FOR MULTI-YEAR RESILIENCE PROGRAMME IN NIGERIA

In response to the armed conflict and escalating humanitarian crisis in northeast Nigeria that has left over 1 million girls and boys in need of educational support, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) today announced US$20.1 million in catalytic investment grants to accelerate the response to the protracted crisis.

Three-year education programme for the protracted crisis in northeast Nigeria aims to reach 2.9 million children and youth in response to armed conflict and ongoing humanitarian needs

18 December 2020, New York – In response to the armed conflict and escalating humanitarian crisis in northeast Nigeria that has left over 1 million girls and boys in need of educational support, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) today announced US$20.1 million in catalytic investment grants to accelerate the response to the protracted crisis.

The initial programme will run for three years, with the goal of leveraging an additional US$98.7 million in co-financing from national and global partners, the private sector and philanthropic foundations to reach over 2.9 million children and youth.

“Education Cannot Wait has been supporting the education in emergencies response in Nigeria since 2018 through the First Emergency Response intervention. During the COVID-19 pandemic, ECW was the first donor to offer support to conflict-affected North East Nigeria. Once more, ECW is supporting Nigeria in the advancement of education in emergencies through the multi-year resilience programme. This is highly commendable, and a much appreciated endeavor,” said Dr. Shettima Bukar Kullima, Executive Chairman, Borno State Universal Basic Education Board Nigeria.

“Children and teachers are being targeted in violent attacks. Killings, rape and other forms of sexual violence, abduction and child recruitment are putting girls and boys at extreme risk. Education is not only every child’s right, but the protection it provides is also all too often life-saving,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait. “This new education in emergency response, which delivers across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, helps sow the seeds of peace and tolerance, while also ensuring girls and boys have access to safe and protective learning environments.”

“Nigeria is making progress in addressing the protracted crisis in the northeast of the country, but with limited resources and continued violence, progress has been uneven,” said Sherif. “There are still approximately 1 million children, including 583,000 girls, and 18,000 education personnel that are in rapid need of support to either resume or sustain education in northeast Nigeria. I call on public and private sector donors to urgently help close the $98.7 million funding gap for this crucial programme. There is no time to lose.”

The number of children and youth with chronic needs in education remains high across the three states targeted through the Education Cannot Wait investment. Estimates indicate that nearly 60 per cent of primary school-age children and adolescents are not attending school, with girls disproportionally affected. Despite a decrease in the number of security incidents targeting education structures since 2017, the risk of violent attacks, abduction, and kidnappings remains a constant threat.

Poverty remains one of the greatest barriers to educational access. Parents simply cannot afford to send their children to school. COVID-19 has made matters even worse. Classrooms often lack school furniture and water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, teachers are poorly paid, and schools and learning centres often lack high-quality learning materials.

Implementing in partnership with the Government of Nigeria by UNICEF, Save the Children, and a consortium between the Norwegian Refugee Council and Street Child, the overall multi-year resilience programme targets 2.9 million children and adolescents from 2021 to 2023. Half of the targeted beneficiaries are displaced children and youth, while the other half live in host communities that are affected by conflict.

The programme builds on the success of the Education Cannot Wait funded ‘first emergency response’ in northeast Nigeria that reached 290,000 children.  Education Cannot Wait seed funding will initiate the implementation of the programme by focusing on reaching girls and boys in the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. In total, over 482,000 girls and boys will access learning opportunities of whom over 60% are girls and adolescent girls. The programme also targets 48,000 girls and boys in early learning programmes, 380,000 at primary level and some 50,000 at the secondary level, in both formal and non-formal education settings.

Among its various outputs, the programme will build and renovate classrooms and learning spaces, support stipends for teachers and increase continuity by working with local partners to keep children and youth in school. It will also ensure educators have the training and tools they need to build gender-responsive learning plans, and safe and protective learning environments that respond to the specific needs of girls, children with disabilities and crisis-affected children in need of psychosocial support.

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Notes to editors:
Programme outputs:

  • Continued delivery of strong education in emergencies programming: The programme will continue the delivery of holistic education in emergencies programming for conflict-affected children, adolescents and families in Northeast Nigeria. Initiatives to strengthen access, equity and quality all remain a primary focus.
  • Mainstreaming of learners into formal education: Many learners remain in temporary learning spaces or alternative education programmes. As the situation stabilises, the formal education system will need to increase its capacity to ensure the delivery of quality, equitable education to all children currently in informal programmes. Further efforts will need to promote the flexibility and adaptability of the formal education system to meet the needs of learners, especially those affected by conflict.
  • Addressing key crosscutting issues, with a special focus on gender, disability and mental health and psychosocial support: Myriad crosscutting issues have also been incorporated into this programme, with a key focus on gender, disability, inclusion and vulnerability. Meeting the needs of those traditionally not included within education systems comprises a primary focus of this programme. Moreover, the programme aims to mainstream protection and mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services for learners and teachers as they access schools.
  • Strengthening educator and school leader capacities and motivation: Local educators and school leaders continue to need substantial support with regards to their capacity and motivation to deliver quality, equitable, and inclusive education. As learners are mainstreamed into formal education programmes, the programme will ensure these educators have the required skills to deliver effective education well into the future. A key focus of this programme is addressing the MHPSS needs of the teachers themselves – their own psychosocial needs must be considered and addressed if they are able to support those of their students,
  • Strengthening local leadership to take full ownership of delivery and transitions to formal education: Local stakeholders in government (at the national, state and local government levels), as well as in National NGOs, are expected to take on increasing leadership and responsibility for the education in emergencies response.

International coalition led by Education Cannot Wait provides new educational opportunities for 194,000 children displaced by conflict in Nigeria

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The 12-month programme will provide educational supplies, permanent schools, basic humanitarian support, and training for teachers to promote the psycho-social development of war-affected children, like this 10-year-old boy. © UNICEF Nigeria/2018

CHILDREN RETURNING HOME TO BENEFIT FROM US$2.5 MILLION IN FUNDING TO REHABILITATE 50 CLASSROOMS AND BUILD CAPACITY FOR 800 TEACHERS

New York, 10 October 2018 – Connecting a broad international coalition that includes Plan International, Save the Children, Street Child and UNICEF, Education Cannot Wait announced a new allocation totaling US$2.49 million to provide safe and equitable access to education for 194,000 conflict-affected children – 52 per cent of whom are girls – in the Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States of North East Nigeria.

The overall emergency education package includes US$210,000 for Plan International, US$249,999 for Save the Children, US$230,000 for Street Child, and US$1.8 million for UNICEF.

The 12-month programme coordinated by the Education Cluster in North East Nigeria in partnership with the Government of Nigeria, will support capacity building for 800 teachers and rehabilitate 50 classrooms. In all, 116,400 internally displaced children and 77,600 children permanently settled in these regions will be targeted with the intervention, which will provide educational supplies, permanent schools, basic humanitarian support, and training for teachers to promote the psycho-social development of these war-affected students.

“This support is essential in responding to the immediate needs of the people of North East Nigeria,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, a new global Fund that has already reached close to 1 million children living in conflict. “Education for all cannot be an afterthought in crisis. This First Emergency Response is just the beginning of our efforts to break the cycle of poverty and violence in the region, and protect boys and girls returning from conflict and still living with the scars of war. As we scale up this work through multi-year investments along with other local, national and international actors, we will expand our support to include more comprehensive actions to reach the estimated 1.8 million children in the region in need of this targeted support.”

The conflict in North East Nigeria and neighbouring states has been devastating, with schools and children often targeted in violent attacks.

“Girls were raped, children were forced into violent extremism, teachers were murdered, and families were ripped apart by this protracted crisis,” said Sherif. “If we are to reach our goal for universal, inclusive and equitable education for all as outlined by world leaders in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, immediate action needs to happen – not just in Nigeria, but across the globe.”

Since the rise of armed conflict in 2009, some 1,400 schools have been damaged or destroyed in Nigeria. In Borno State alone, 57 per cent of schools remain closed today.

According to Human Rights Watch, in some cases students recruited by Boko Haram attacked their own schools and killed their own teachers. An estimated 19,000 teachers have been displaced by conflict in Nigeria since 2009, with 2,295 killed in the violence.

“Without teachers and without schools, the children of this region have very limited opportunities. To halt the continued scourge of violent extremism in the region – and protect our most valuable natural resource, our children – we’ve partnered with key actors in this humanitarian response phase to help rehabilitate schools, train teachers, provide essential educational supplies and get boys and girls back in safe and secure educational environments,” Sherif said.

The situation in North East Nigeria continues to be a highly complex humanitarian crisis. With 7.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, including 4.3 million children who remain the primary victims of the ongoing conflict.

“This First Emergency Response funding is specifically designed for sudden onset crises or escalations of existing emergencies such as what we are seeing in North East Nigeria and neighboring states today,” said Sherif. “This is a start, but the magnitude of the crisis requires specific, extensive, multi-year engagements to get Nigeria’s boys and girls back in safe schools and help them recover from years of conflict.”

Education Cannot Wait has been operational for just over a year, the new global Fund was created to mobilize US$1.84 billion in funding by 2021 to provide reliable and quality education to 8.9 million children affected by crisis.

Read the PDF version of the press release here

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