Education Cannot Wait announces a US$2.7 million allocation to support the emergency education response in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon where the ongoing crisis has left more than 90 per cent of school-aged children without access to any education opportunities.

Education Cannot Wait’s funding is aligned with the inter-agency humanitarian appeal and covers 23 percent of the current funding gap for the education sector. Photo © UNHCR/Catianne Tijerina

Funding will help restore learning opportunities for more than 18,000 children and youth affected by the crisis

9 July 2019, New York –  Education Cannot Wait announces a US$2.7 million allocation to support the emergency education response in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon where the ongoing crisis has left more than 90 per cent of school-aged children without access to any education opportunities.

Over the last three years, escalating violence and attacks against civilians in these two regions of Cameroon have forced half a million people to flee their homes. Schools, education personnel and students have been targeted by violence and threats, and 80 per cent of schools have closed, according to estimates from humanitarian agencies. More than 670,000 children in the two regions have been forced to leave school.

“Hundreds of thousands of girls and boys in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon are currently out of school. Outside of a protective school environment, they are in immediate danger of recruitment, of exploitation, of sexual abuse and early pregnancy,” said Allegra Baiocchi, United Nations (UN) Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Cameroon. “As illiteracy sets in, the future of these children, of their families and their communities is also at risk. When it comes to education, it cannot be an if, but a how. As Humanitarian Coordinator, I am committed to protect children’s right to education and to get these kids back on track with their learning. With Education Cannot Wait’s funding, this is what we will do,” she said.

Education Cannot Wait’s funding will support 18,386 children (of whom 9,505 are girls) of pre-primary, primary and secondary school age in accessing quality formal and non-formal education learning opportunities in the two regions.

“The sheer scale of the crisis in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon has brought the future prospects of an entire generation to a standstill. It is unacceptable that children stay out of school for years and are left behind. Working closely with the Government and through the Education in Emergencies Cluster, UN agencies and NGOs will jointly implement this Education Cannot Wait investment and provide urgently needed response to restore learning opportunities for affected children and youth,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait. “Access to continuous quality education is crucial to protect the girls and boys caught up in such distressing and abnormal circumstances. It nurtures their resilience and helps them develop the skills to thrive while also contributing to the recovery of their communities,” she added.

Education activities will support the resumption and continuity of learning for crisis-affected children and youth – a majority of whom have been out of school for three years now. There will also be a focus on protection to reduce risks of exploitation, child labour, early marriage, early pregnancy and recruitment into armed forces and armed groups. Psychosocial support, school feeding programmes, vocational training for youth, community reintegration and school readiness will also be supported.

The crucial grant will be implemented over the next 12 months by Plan International (US$750,000), UNESCO (US$1.1 million), the Danish Refugee Council (US$400,000) and the World Food Programme (US$500,000) in collaboration with the Government of Cameroon and the national Education Cluster.

Education Cannot Wait’s funding is aligned with the inter-agency humanitarian appeal and covers 23 percent of the current funding gap for the education sector.




Photo: RATSIMBAZAFY Olivas Josias
Photo: RATSIMBAZAFY Olivas Josias


When disaster strikes, children are the ones that lose out the most.

In March of 2017, Cyclone Enawo hit the coast of Madagascar with gale-force winds that gusted up to 180 miles an hour. The destruction displaced some 240,000 people, and the damage to school infrastructure was unprecedented. Over 3,900 classrooms were damaged, with 2,300 totally destroyed. The devastation in Enawo’s wake left over 120,000 children without a safe space to learn.

“Our two classrooms were destroyed to the ground and we could not go to class for two months. We were unhappy but there was nothing we could do,” said Faniriantsoa, a young girl who was ready to complete her last year of primary school before her life and her future were interrupted.

As a result of climate change, the world is seeing an increase in severe weather like cyclones, droughts and floods. When these life-changing events hit, families struggle to access food and water. For girls like Faniriantsoa, risks of gender-based violence increase, and without access to the relative safety and stability of schools, young lives are put in limbo.

To respond to the crisis, Education Cannot Wait – a global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises that seeks to mobilize US$1.8 billion by 2021 to reach 8.9 million children – invested US$400,000 in a fast-acting 12-month programme in the Sava Region of Madagascar. The programme closely aligned with the Flash Appeal issued by the Government and humanitarian organisations after the cyclone, and was implemented on the ground by UNICEF, UNESCO and the Regional Education Authorities.

The Sava region was the hardest-hit part of the country. In all, 80 per cent of the children affected by the hurricane were from here, and close to 60 per cent of the classrooms here were completely destroyed by the cyclone.



Rachel Razafindrabetrema is a preschool teacher and the founder of the Andamoty school in the Sava Region. Her school was completely devasted by the cyclone. With funding from Education Cannot Wait, the school now has four working classrooms – complete with school tables and learning materials – that caters to students from pre-school to Grade 5.

Before, children were sitting on stones or stumps. Now they are more comfortable. Our school has become very attractive and parents are happy to send their children to school because the learning conditions are better. The number of students has continued to grow. In 2017 and 2018 we had only 100 students. In the 2018-2019 school year, our number of students is 500,” said Razafindrabetrema.

At the close of the investment, in August 2018, the programme had helped over 54,000 pre-school, primary and lower secondary students to access temporary learning environments. The investment also rehabilitated 110 classrooms. Special efforts were made to bring school materials, tents and school-in-a-box kits to hard-to-reach places. According to UNICEF, some goods were transported 5 hours by boat before being carried on foot another 2 to 3 hours to reach children living in remote or cut-off locations.


The programme also aimed at insulating the children and families of Madagascar from future risks and ‘building back better.’ As part of the long-term investment in disaster-risk reduction, UNICEF was able to replenish pre-positioned supplies to prepare for more cyclones. In January 2018, when Cyclone Ava hit Madagascar, the humanitarian organizations in-country had tarpaulins, recreation kits and school-in-a-box kits ready to quickly help the 48,000 children across 14 regions whose education was interrupted by the hard-hitting cyclone.

With the support of Education Cannot Wait’s investment, and the broad coalition of implementing partners that made it happen, Faniriantsoa is back in school.

“We received books, notebooks, pencils, balloons and jumping ropes to play and restart our studies,” said Faniriantsoa. “For me, being able to continue my studies is very important so I can acquire the necessary knowledge to go very far in life.”

Story by Liva Ratsambizafy, Education Emergency Specialist, UNICEF Madagascar, with Greg Benchwick, Education Cannot Wait.



Photo © UNESCO
Photo © UNESCO


When Peru suffered unprecedented damage from floods and mudslides induced by the El Niño phenomenon in 2017, Education Cannot Wait sprang into action to fund a rapid response to restore educational services for affected children.

In all, 162 people died in the disaster and over 66,000 homes were destroyed, leaving a quarter of a million men, women and children homeless. The Piura Region in Northern Peru was especially hard hit. Around 100,000 people were made homeless, and the education of an estimated 37,000 children was interrupted as their classrooms were destroyed.

Education Cannot Wait, the global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crisis, allocated a fast-acting US$250,000 grant to UNESCO that was implemented in coordination and close collaboration with the Government of Peru, UNICEF and other frontline agencies to build new schools and get children back in the classroom.

The grant helped build prefabricated classrooms in nine schools. In addition, gender-segregated bathrooms were built to ensure a better protection for girls in the precarious environments that often follow natural disasters of this magnitude.

Beyond this immediate response to restore infrastructures, Education Cannot Wait also supported efforts to “build back better.” This meant helping to develop the response plans necessary to insulate children from future risks.

This was done through 27 workshops organized to map community risks, especially around schools, create family emergency plans, and build improved disaster and risk management plans, strategies and frameworks.

The family emergency plans helped households to identify better housing materials, reduce risks, identify hazards, and protect children when disaster strikes.

With the new school facilities in place, some 590 students were able to return to school, including 288 girls. The project closed in September 2018 but has had a lasting impact.

“This isn’t just about building infrastructure, but also about building happy spaces,” said UNESCO Representative Magaly Robalino.



Climate change is affecting educational outcomes the world over – and putting children at ever greater risk.

Rising seas, more extreme weather, drought, floods and rising temperatures push resources, economies and livelihoods to the edge. Farmers in poor countries are seeing decreasing yields and are struggling to adapt. Nations are seeing vast economic impacts that are syphoning off resources. And families are struggling to find the resources they need to send children to school, feed children healthy meals, and save money for the future.

With more frequent and severe risks from sea-level rise, stronger and more intense hurricanes and other natural disasters, the world’s most vulnerable children face ever-increasing risks. This will make it harder to reach global goals of achieving universal and equitable education by 2030 as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals.

The economic returns for investing in education in emergencies are significant. For each dollar invested in education, more than US$5 is returned in additional gross earnings in low-income countries and US$2.50 in lower middle-income countries.

In the same way, investments in disaster risk reduction also have similar benefits, with recent World Bank reports indicated that risks from climate change, of which natural disasters are a core component, could cost up to 20 per cent of GDP.

Education Cannot Wait’s modalities, designed to link emergency relief and development efforts are well placed to support disaster risk reduction and emergency preparedness from the onset of responses through to recovery.

In the end, the goal is not just to get children back in school, but to also insulate these communities from future shocks to build a brighter future for generations to come.


Photo Gallery


Joint statement on the dire situation of teachers in Yemen

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October 5, 2018 —- The violent conflict in Yemen is severely affecting the education of millions of children throughout the country and takes a heavy toll on teachers.

The war has pushed at least half a million children out of school since 2015, and another 3.7 million are at risk of missing this school year if teachers are not paid.

On World Teachers’ Day with the theme, “The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher”, Education Cannot Wait, the Global Partnership for Education, UNESCO and UNICEF are calling for the resumption of salary payments for the 145,000 Yemeni teachers, who teach children under dire and life-threatening circumstances.

Further delay in paying teachers will likely lead to the collapse of the education sector and impact millions of children in Yemen making them vulnerable to child labor, recruitment into the fighting, trafficking, abuse and early marriage.

Teachers who have not received regular salaries for two years, can no longer meet their most basic needs and have been forced to seek other ways of income to provide for their families.

The global community must unite to end violence against children in Yemen and protect their right to education.

There is no time to waste. An entire generation of children is facing the loss of their education – and their future.

Without our collective commitment and action, we will fail to meet the 2030 Agenda – Leaving no child and no teacher behind.

Education Cannot Wait, the Global Partnership for Education, UNESCO and UNICEF are committed to continuing our support for equitable, inclusive quality education for all Yemeni children.

Download the full statement in English here 

اضغط هنا لتحميل التصريح الكامل باللغة العربية

Télécharger la déclaration complète  ici



2018-09-joint-statement-12-years-break-barriers-girls-education 2018-09-declaration-conjointe-12-annees-education-fillesJoint-statement-header

Today, more girls are in school globally than ever before; but 132 million are not, particularly those in emergencies and in conflict-affected and fragile states. Millions more drop out before they complete their education, and progress for the most marginalized girls is far too slow. These girls struggle to learn the basics, and are under-represented in secondary education, where they would gain the skills, knowledge and opportunities for a productive and fulfilling life.

Far too many girls continue to face barriers to their education, across the lifecycle from early years, through adolescence and into adulthood, including poverty; sexual and gender-based violence; child, early and forced marriage; early and unwanted pregnancy; and restrictive social norms and expectations. Other barriers rest within the school, related to deep-rooted gender discrimination, unequal power relations, and inadequate facilities. By some estimates, one in ten girls in sub-Saharan Africa miss school during menstruation. Gender-based violence in, around and on the way to school knows no geographical, cultural, social, economic or ethnic boundaries. Inclusive, equitable education, in safe and secure environments, which reaches the most vulnerable, including children with disabilities, remains fundamental to achieving the empowerment and economic equality of girls and women, especially in developing contexts and countries struggling with conflict.

Today we meet to take stock, to reaffirm and issue new policy and financial commitments, and to agree on next steps for joint advocacy and action to achieve results for all girls.

We acknowledge that much progress has been made in 2018 to make concrete commitments to advancing girls’ enjoyment of their human right to education, and a contribution to social development, economic growth, and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The G7 Summit in Canada and the Commonwealth Summit in the UK agreed on commitments with a particular focus on supporting adolescent and highly marginalised girls while they confront enduring barriers to their achievement of positive learning outcomes; while the Global Partnership for Education conference in Senegal saw developing countries commit themselves to invest a further $110 billion in education, coupled with $2.3 billion of ODA pledges by donors. Education Cannot Wait, in barely one year, invested close to $100 million in emergency response plans and multi-year resilience programmes in which 50 percent of the beneficiaries are girls and the majority of teachers are female. With 2030 in sight, we must continue the momentum for shared responsibility, global solidarity, and accountability to ensure no girl is left behind.

We together call on girls themselves, their families and communities, governments, international organizations, civil society and the private sector to join us in our commitment to undertake individual and collective action to dismantle barriers to girls’ education, and to:

  • Increase girls’ access to schools and learning pathways, with a focus on the most marginalized, including those in contexts of emergency, conflict and fragility.
  • Provide opportunity for 12 years of free, safe and quality education that promotes gender equality, builds literacy and numeracy skills, and skills for life and the jobs of the future.

To close existing gaps, we resolve to:

  • Promote gender-responsive education systems, including plans and policies, budgeting, teaching and learning approaches, curriculum and learning materials;
  • Improve coordination between humanitarian assistance and development cooperation, ensuring commitment to gender equality and prioritizing improved access to quality education for girls and women in the early stages of humanitarian response and peacebuilding efforts;
  • Enact and enforce legislation, providing opportunity for 12 years of free basic education, and dismantling barriers to education through wider reform, such as on child, early and forced marriage;
  • Invest in teachers, creating incentives for male and female teachers to provide quality learning opportunities, and expanding professional development in gender-responsive teaching practice;
  • Focus on the hardest to reach girls, including girls in situations of conflict, crisis and fragility, rural girls, and girls with disabilities;
  • Champion schools as safe spaces for learning, free of gender bias, violence and discrimination;
  • Engage communities, parents, boys and men, and girls themselves to challenge the patriarchal beliefs, practices, institutions and structures that drive gender inequality;
  • Monitor progress, and ensure the collection of sex-and age-disaggregated data on a regular basis and its use to redress gender disparities in education and their causes across the lifecycle;
  • Implement integrated and multi-sectoral approaches which empower adolescents to avoid sexual risks and prevent early pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections;
  • Prepare girls for jobs of the future, building digital skills and closing gender gaps in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.
  • Strengthen international, regional, national, and South-South cooperation to champion girls’ education and make gender equality in and through education a reality.

We commit to galvanizing political will to deliver on the SDG 4 commitments to girls’ education and use upcoming events such as the Global Education 2030 Meeting organized by UNESCO in December 2018 and the SDG High Level Political Forum in July 2019 to take stock of progress in the count down to 2030.

25 September 2018






 Jamais autant de filles n’ont été scolarisées dans le monde. Toutefois, 132 millions de filles ne vont toujours pas à l’école, en particulier dans les États fragiles, en situation d’urgence ou en proie à des conflits. Des millions d’autres filles quittent l’école prématurément, tandis que les progrès enregistrés pour les plus marginalisées d’entre elles sont encore bien trop lents. Pour ces filles, acquérir les compétences fondamentales est un véritable combat. Elles demeurent en outre sous-représentées dans l’enseignement secondaire, où elles pourraient pourtant acquérir les connaissances et les compétences nécessaires pour construire une existence riche et accomplie.

Les filles et les femmes sont encore beaucoup trop nombreuses à rencontrer des obstacles à leur éducation, tout au long de leur vie, de la petite enfance à l’âge adulte, en passant par l’adolescence : pauvreté, violences sexuelles ou liées au genre, mariages d’enfants, précoces ou forcés, grossesses précoces ou non désirées, ainsi que des normes et des attentes sociales trop restrictives. L’institution scolaire elle-même maintient un certain nombre de barrières : discriminations fondées sur le genre, relations de pouvoir inégalitaires et infrastructures inadaptées. Selon certaines estimations, une fille sur dix, en Afrique subsaharienne, manque l’école pendant ses menstruations. Les violences liées au genre à l’intérieur, aux abords ou sur le chemin de l’école ne connaissent pas de frontières géographiques, culturelles, sociales, économiques ou ethniques. Il demeure donc essentiel d’assurer les conditions d’une école inclusive et équitable, d’une éducation dispensée dans un environnement sain et sûr, qui inclut les plus vulnérables, y compris les enfants en situation de handicap. Il s’agit de rendre les filles et les femmes autonomes, y compris sur le plan économique, en particulier dans les pays en développement et en situation de conflits.

Nous sommes aujourd’hui réunis pour prendre la mesure de cette situation, pour affirmer à nouveau notre volonté d’avancer, pour définir de nouvelles mesures et des engagements financiers et pour convenir d’actions communes afin de garantir des résultats pour toutes les filles.

Convenons-en, de nombreux progrès ont été accomplis en 2018. Des engagements concrets ont été pris afin de garantir que les filles puissent jouir pleinement de leur droit à l’éducation, un droit fondamental contribuant au développement social, à la croissance économique et à la réalisation des objectifs de développement durable (ODD). Les Sommets du G-7 au Canada et du Commonwealth au Royaume-Uni ont débouché sur des engagements précis, notamment en faveur des adolescentes et des filles les plus marginalisées, tandis que la Conférence du Partenariat mondial pour l’éducation organisée au Sénégal a vu les pays en développement s’engager à investir 110 milliards de dollars supplémentaires dans l’éducation, auxquels s’ajoutent 2,3 milliards de dollars de la part de donateurs. Education Cannot Wait / Éducation ne peut pas attendre a investi en à peine un an près de 100 millions de dollars dans des plans d’intervention d’urgence et des programmes pluriannuels de résilience dans lesquels 50% des bénéficiaires sont des filles, et la majorité des enseignants des femmes. Dans la perspective de l’échéance de 2030, nous devons entretenir cette dynamique en faveur d’une responsabilité commune, d’une solidarité mondiale et d’un principe de redevabilité, pour faire en sorte qu’aucune fille ne soit laissée de côté.

Ensemble, nous appelons les filles elles-mêmes, ainsi que leurs familles et communautés respectives, les gouvernements, les organisations internationales, la société civile, le secteur privé, tous les acteurs de l’éducation, à s’engager avec nous, et à agir, à titre individuel ou collectif, pour lever les obstacles à l’éducation des filles et pour :


  • améliorer l’accès des filles à l’éducation et aux parcours d’apprentissage, en ciblant les plus marginalisées d’entre elles, notamment celles qui se trouvent dans des situations d’urgence, de conflit ou de vulnérabilité ;
  • assurer 12 années d’un enseignement gratuit, sûr et de qualité, qui s’attache à promouvoir l’égalité de genre et à renforcer les compétences en matière d’écriture, de lecture et de calcul, ainsi que les compétences nécessaires à la vie quotidienne et aux métiers de demain.


Afin de combler les écarts qui existent, nous sommes déterminés à :


  • promouvoir des systèmes éducatifs prenant en compte les questions de genre, notamment en matière de planification, de réglementation, de budget, d’approches et de ressources pédagogiques et de programmes d’enseignement ;
  • améliorer la coordination entre l’aide humanitaire et la coopération pour le développement, en garantissant un engagement de tous les acteurs en faveur de l’égalité de genre, et en faisant de l’accès à une éducation de qualité pour les filles et les femmes une priorité dès les premiers moments de l’intervention humanitaire et les premiers efforts pour instaurer la paix ;
  • promulguer et faire appliquer des lois permettant d’assurer 12 années d’un enseignement de base gratuit et de lever les obstacles à l’éducation, grâce à des réformes plus larges, portant par exemple sur les mariages d’enfants, précoces et forcés ;
  • investir dans les enseignants en mettant en place des mesures incitatives pour que les enseignants, hommes et femmes, puissent bénéficier de conditions d’apprentissage de qualité et soient formés aux pratiques pédagogiques qui intègrent une perspective de genre;
  • se concentrer sur les filles les plus marginalisées, notamment celles qui se trouvent en situation de conflit, de crise ou de vulnérabilité, celles qui vivent en milieu rural et celles qui ont un handicap ;
  • promouvoir les écoles en tant que lieux d’apprentissage sûrs, exempts de préjugés, de violences ou de discriminations liées au genre ;
  • encourager les communautés, les parents, les garçons et les hommes, ainsi que les filles elles-mêmes, à remettre en question les croyances, les pratiques, les institutions et les structures patriarcales qui favorisent les inégalités de genre ;
  • suivre les progrès et assurer la collecte de données réparties par sexe et par âge de manière régulière, et suivre l’utilisation de ces données pour remédier aux inégalités fondées sur le genre dans l’éducation ;


  • adopter des approches intégrées et multisectorielles qui donnent aux adolescentes les moyens d’éviter les risques liés à la sexualité et de prévenir les grossesses précoces et les maladies sexuellement transmissibles ;
  • préparer les filles aux métiers de demain, développer leurs compétences dans le domaine du numérique et combler l’écart entre filles et garçons dans l’enseignement des sciences, de la technologie, de l’ingénierie et des mathématiques ;
  • resserrer la coopération internationale, régionale, nationale et Sud-Sud pour promouvoir l’éducation des filles et faire en sorte que l’égalité de genre dans et par l’éducation devienne une réalité.


Nous sommes déterminés à mobiliser les volontés politiques en vue de la réalisation des engagements de l’ODD 4 en faveur de l’éducation des filles, ainsi qu’à mettre à profit les grandes manifestations à venir, telles que la Réunion mondiale Éducation 2030 organisée par l’UNESCO en décembre 2018 et le Forum politique de haut niveau consacré aux ODD en 2019 pour dresser un bilan des progrès accomplis au regard de l’échéance de 2030.


25 septembre 2018

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