Our award-winning reporting has moved

Context provides news and analysis on three of the world’s most critical issues:

climate change, the impact of technology on society, and inclusive economies.

Global charities call on world leaders to fund education in emergencies

by Theirworld | Theirworld
Monday, 11 April 2016 09:46 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Global charities call on world leaders to fund education in emergencies

World leaders must commit the urgent resources needed to provide education to children caught up in natural disasters and conflicts, when they meet at the very first World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May, say leading global education charities.

More than 50 global charities including World Vision, Oxfam, ActionAid, Muslim Aid, and Theirworld, said that for the summit to be a success world leaders must launch the new education crisis platform and make new, multi-year pledges, aimed at supporting the millions of affected children so that it can truly be a breakthrough for children living without education in the most dangerous or unstable contexts.

In 2015 alone, more than 80 million children and young people had their education disrupted or destroyed by emergencies and prolonged crises. Record numbers of attacks on schools, natural disasters, wars and the largest refugee crisis since World War II have increased the need for education in emergencies.

Despite this, less than 2 percent of all humanitarian funding has gone to education every year since 2010. There is now an approximate $9 billion dollar gap for education in emergencies annually.

“Every day, across the countries where we work, we see first-hand the impact of children’s education being disrupted by crises - for them, their families and their communities.

We need the new education crisis platform to be ambitiously funded from its launch. The cost to the international community of not doing so, the cost of more lost generations of children denied their right to education, is just too high”, said Rob Williams, CEO War Child UK.

The group of education in emergencies experts warned that the new fund must:

  • Be financed with multi-year donor commitments

  • Be supported by new funding and resources that are ambitious enough to address the scale of the crisis in education and emergencies

  • Be supported by resources that are additional, and not at the expense of other critical education and poverty-fighting interventions

  • Build on existing financing mechanisms so as to ensure smooth transition from crisis response to longer term development of education systems

Jennifer Rigg, Executive Director Global Campaign for Education US said, “Around the world we are facing lost futures for millions of children, youth and families as prolonged crises and emergencies destroy communities and disrupt lives. The current average displacement due to refugee situations is 17 years. Education is a life-saving intervention and universal right that simply cannot wait. New and additional funding is required to equip children and youth with the tools to rebuild their futures and the futures of their communities.”

Ben Hewitt, Theirworld Campaigns Director, said “We cannot stand by while children are shut out from the opportunity for an education due to conflicts and disasters. We must bring new and immediate financing to deliver education alongside protection and other essential social services. It is imperative we invest in hope, and the future. Getting children back into school and keeping them there can prevent risks of exploitation, early marriage, trafficking, and extremism.”