Education Cannot Wait calls for US$1.5 billion in urgent funding to reach 20 million crisis-impacted children [EN/AR]
“ECW’s ‘Case for Investment’ is our case for humanity. It is our collective plea to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and universal human rights for every child and youth barely surviving in emergencies and protracted crises.” – Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait.
Education Cannot Wait (ECW) called on world leaders to provide US$1.5 billion in urgent funding to support the UN’s global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises and its strategic partners in reaching 20 million crisis-impacted children and adolescents in the next four years.
ECW’s new Case for Investment and its 2023-2026 Strategic Plan set out a bold, new ambition for the UN’s breakthrough global fund, which has mobilized over US$1 billion and directly supported nearly 7 million children and adolescents since its inception in 2016, and an additional 31.2 million with its COVID-19 response.
Recent analysis from ECW indicates that as many as 222 million crisis-impacted girls and boys are in need of urgent education support. More than 78 million of these children are out of school altogether, with approximately 120 million not attaining minimum proficiencies in reading or math.
“Our Case for Investment is our case for humanity with a laser-focus on the 222 million children and adolescents left furthest behind. It is our collective plea to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and universal human rights for every child and youth barely surviving in emergencies and protracted crises. Our case for investment is their rightful claim to a quality education: to develop their potentials and realize their dreams,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait.
World leaders, donors and other global advocates are joining ECW’s global #222MillionDreams✨📚 campaign in lead up to the Fund’s High-Level Financing Conference, which will take place in Geneva in February 2023.
“Despite its vital importance, education in emergencies remains chronically underfunded while needs are growing. That’s why Switzerland is partnering with Education Cannot Wait. We are proud to co-host the Education Cannot Wait High-Level Financing Conference in Geneva together with Germany, Niger, Norway and South Sudan as co-conveners,” said Ignazio Cassis, President of the Swiss Confederation, in support of the #222MillionDreams campaign.
Addressing the Funding Gap
Funding appeals for education in emergencies have spiked in recent years. With the war in Ukraine, jumps in forced displacement, the specter of famine across the Sahel and East Africa, and other crises, education in emergencies funding appeals reached US$2.9 billion in 2021, up from US$1.4 billion the previous year, according to analysis from ECW’s Annual Results Report.
Leaders are stepping up, but large gaps remain. Currently, funding for education in emergencies only accounts for 2-4% of global humanitarian funding. While 2021 saw a record-high US$645 million in education appeal funding, the overall funding gap spiked by 17%, from 60% in 2020 to 77% in 2021.
Return on Investment
“We know that investing in education generates tremendous return on investment. For every dollar invested in girls’ education, there will be US$2.80 in return. We also know that investing in education is an investment in peace, stability and prosperity. It’s an investment in stronger economies and an end to hunger and poverty. Indeed, education is our investment in the future,” said Alicia Herbert, Chair of ECW’s Executive Committee.
ECW’s First Emergency Responses – designed to get a child back into education after an acute emergency – provide six to 12 months of continuous access to education, protection and psychosocial support, teacher support and safe learning environments.
Three-year holistic investments provided through the Multi-Year Resilience Programmes provide a broader range of services, including continuous access to education, protection and psychosocial services, teacher training, school feeding, improved learning outcomes, gender equality, disaster risk management, school administrative support, inclusion of refugees in national education systems, resource mobilization and systems strengthening.
ECW’s Case For Investment outlines a value-proposition “to create a world where all children and adolescents affected by crises can learn free of cost, in safety and without fear,” including important details on the Fund’s efforts to address the climate crisis, engage the private sector, ensure gender equality, catalyze political support, and enhance flexible and high-impact interventions to reach those left furthest behind.
Transforming Action, Accelerating Results
It is not enough to simply get children into schools. ECW’s new Strategic Plan 2023-2026, “Achieving Results: A New Way of Working,” focuses on the quality of the learning experience. The Fund plans to directly reach 20 million children over the next four years with interventions that support their learning needs as well as their social, emotional and physical health. As a global convenor and advocate, ECW will also use its networks, research and advocacy to transform the global response to education in crisis and deliver results on Sustainable Development Goal 4.
ECW will also launch a first-of-its-kind Financing Observatory that will track global financing flows to the education in emergencies and protracted crises sector. Through the Observatory, governments and civil society will have access to transparent, high-quality data that will enable them to better reach the world’s most vulnerable children.
People looking to make a difference can call for leaders to take action, using the #222MillionDreams✨📚 hashtag and by making individual donations to ECW.
Source: Education Cannot Wait