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Global fund for education in emergencies reaches 3.5 mln children, youth since 2016

United Nations | XINHUA | Education Cannot Wait (ECW), a UN-hosted global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, has reached nearly 3.5 million children and youth in many of the world’s worst humanitarian crises since its inception in 2016, an ECW report published on Tuesday shows.

The report, “Stronger Together in Crises — Annual Results Report 2019,” provides evidence that ECW’s partnership model is spurring progress in delivering inclusive, equitable quality education for children and youth caught in emergencies and protracted crises.

The report shows that ECW is providing the impetus for quicker education responses in face of sudden-onset crises, and is strengthening coherence between humanitarian and development aid interventions.

It also captures encouraging trends in terms of strengthening national and local capacities to respond, as well as improving data, evidence and accountability for the sector.

“ECW works to serve the 75 million children and youth — 39 million of whom are girls — whose education has been disrupted by armed conflicts, forced displacement, climate-change induced disasters and protracted crises. This new annual results report shows ECW advancing from strength to strength, just three years into its operations,” said Gordon Brown, UN special envoy for Global Education and Chair of the ECW High-Level Steering Group.

“The report comes at an unprecedented time when the global education crisis is exacerbated by COVID-19. The pandemic has swept across the world, threatening decades of hard-won development gains: 90 percent of the world’s school-age children and youth have had their education disrupted,” Brown noted.

“As an innovative fund, ECW is breaking new ground, but more needs to be done. Financing is absolutely essential,” he added.

“ECW champions the inherent human right to an education for children and youth left furthest behind in humanitarian emergencies and protracted crises,” said ECW Director Yasmine Sherif.

“To answer the UN secretary general’s recent call to avoid a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities, ECW and its partners are working to urgently mobilize an additional 310 million dollars to support the emergency education response to the COVID-19 pandemic and other ongoing crises. Together with in-country resource mobilization, this will allow us to reach close to 9 million children annually,” Sherif said.

ECW, hosted by the United Nations Children’s Fund, is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies.

It was launched by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to address the urgent education needs of 75 million children and youth in conflict and crisis settings.

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