UNITED NATIONS & NAIROBI, Sept. 8 (IPS) – In a world aflame with climate change and relentless conflict, millions of children in emergencies and protracted crises need educational support. Children in 48 of the 49 African countries are at high or extremely high risk of climate change impacts, especially in the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Guinea, Somalia and Guinea-Bissau.
“We have reached catastrophic proportions of 224 million children today in conflict and other humanitarian crises and in need of educational support. Funding needs for emergency education within humanitarian calls have almost tripled in the past three years – from $1.1 billion in 2019 to nearly $3 billion by the end of 2022. Only 30 percent of education needs were funded in 2022, indicating an expansion of educational needs. There is a gap,” said Yasmine Sherif, director of Education Cannot Wait (ECW), to IPS.
ECW’s With Hope and Courage: 2022 Annual Results Report, released today ahead of the UN General Assembly and SDG Summit in New York, is a deep dive into the challenges, opportunities, key trends and the enormous potential that “education for all” offers. offers as countries around the world race to deliver on the promises set out in the SDGs, the Paris Agreement and other international accords.
Sherif emphasizes that as countries around the world celebrate International Literacy Day – and the power of education to build sustainable and peaceful societies – ECW calls on world leaders to scale up financial support to reach vulnerable children in need, especially those who are furthest behind. As more and more children find themselves in humanitarian crises, there is an increasing funding gap as needs have skyrocketed in recent years.
The report makes an urgent call for additional funding – highlighting the latest trends in emergency education. It also shows the progress the fund has made with UN and civil society partners in promoting quality education, especially Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, for vulnerable girls and boys in humanitarian crises worldwide to access inclusive, high-quality and safe education.
“As the number of children out of school in conflict situations, climate-induced disasters and the number of refugees skyrockets, funding has not kept pace with the snowball crisis. But even under these unfortunate circumstances, the report has a positive message. ECW and its global strategic partners have reached 8.8 million children with quality, holistic education since its inception in 2016, and more than 4.2 million in 2022 alone. The only reason we haven’t reached more children is insufficient funding. We have mobilized over $1.5 billion to date, and we need an additional $670 million to reach 20 million children by the end of our 2023-2026 strategic plan,” she noted.
Sherif emphasizes that the global community must ensure that girls and boys affected by armed conflict, climate-induced disasters and forced displacement are not left behind, but rather placed at the forefront of inclusive and quality continuing education. Education is the basis for sustainable and peaceful societies.
“Our annual report shows that it is possible to provide safe, inclusive and high-quality education with proven positive learning outcomes in conflict-affected countries and for refugees. ECW has done this through strategic partnerships with host governments, government donors, the private sector, philanthropic foundations, UN agencies, civil society, local organizations and other key stakeholders,” she explains.
“Together, we have provided quality education to 9 million children and adolescents affected by crises. The systems are in place, including a coordination structure; with more funding we can reach more girls and boys in humanitarian crises around the world, in places like the Sahel, South Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Latin America, and give girls access to community-based secondary education in Afghanistan. We have a proven efficient and effective funding model to deliver on the promise of education.”
ECW has so far funded education programs in 44 countries and crisis situations. Of the 4.2 million children reached by 2022, 21 percent were refugees and 14 percent internally displaced. As the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools around the world, ECW repositioned its programming and supported distance learning, lifesaving access to water and sanitation and other integrated support, reaching an additional 32.2 million children.
ECW’s commitment to gender equality and tackling the gender gap in education is paying off. Towards the fund’s goal of reaching 60 percent girls in all its investments, girls will represent more than 50 percent of all children reached by 2022.
In 2022, ECW’s rapid first emergency response to new or escalating crises included a strong focus on the climate crisis through subsidies for the drought in East Africa and floods in Pakistan and Sudan. ECW also approved new funding in response to the war in Ukraine and the renewed violence in the Lake Chad region and Ethiopia.
“In terms of scaling up funding for education, the report shows that funding for education in emergencies in 2022 was higher than ever before, with total available funding growing by more than 57 percent in just three years – from 699 million dollars in 2019 to more than 57 percent. $1.1 billion in 2022,” explains Sherif.
With support from ECW’s key strategic donor partners – including Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, as the top three contributors under 25 in total, and visionary private sector partners such as The LEGO Foundation – ECW raised 826 million dollars announced. High-Level Funding Conference in early 2023.
In addition, joint efforts to mobilize resources from all partners and stakeholders at global, regional and country level helped unlock an additional $842 million in funding for education in emergencies and protracted crises, helping to align with the ECW multi-year resilience programs in 22 years. to land.
To date, some of ECW’s largest and prospective bilateral and multilateral donors have not yet committed funding for the full 2023-2026 period, and a funding gap remains from the private sector, foundations, and philanthropic donors. In the first half of 2023, ECW faces a funding shortfall of approximately $670 million to fully fund achievements under the 2023-2026 Strategic Plan, which will reach 20 million children over the next three years. IPS UN Bureau Report
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© Inter Press Service (2023) — All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service