Dubai Cares chief: we must give long-term support to education in emergencies

Children in conflicts, Education funding, Education in emergencies

An organisation whose programmes reach 14 million children in 39 countries has said 2015 “must be the year we find the solution to education in crises”.

Dubai Cares CEO Tariq Al Gurg insisted a global platform and fund for education in emergencies is desperately needed if record-breaking numbers of displaced children are to go to school.

In a blog for the Huffington Post today, Mr Al Gurg said he returned from the Oslo Education Summit with “a renewed sense of hope” that long-term and sustainable ways of funding education in conflicts and crises will be established.

Dubai Cares – which works to provide children in developing countries with access to quality primary education – was one of more than 40 of the world’s leading charities and campaign organisations which joined forces ahead of the meeting in Norway to call for a fund to be established to deal quickly with conflict and emergency situations, such as refugees from the war in Syria or victims of the Nepal earthquake.

Tariq Al Gurg at Oslo Summit meeting Picture: Dubai Cares

At the summit, Mr Al Gurg was at a meeting convened by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown and Global Partnership for Education Chair Julia Gillard. International leaders and ministers agreed to develop the Global Humanitarian Platform and Fund for Education in Emergencies.

In his blog, Mr Al Gurg said 30 million children are forcibly displaced from their homes – but last year only 1% of overall humanitarian aid and 2% of humanitarian appeals was spent on education.

He added: “With the average length of displacement for refugees now approaching 20 years – and over 70% of those children out of school – we know that these emergencies are no longer brief blips in the life of a child.”

Mr Al Gurg paid tribute to the eight million people who have signed the #UpForSchool Petition and said Dubai Cares will continue to support efforts such as the humanitarian fund that provide both immediate relief and long-term commitment to helping children in emergency situations. He added: “The momentum is here. The need is dire. The political will to act is building.”

LuLu staff help to pack Dubai Cares school kits for Gaza

Meanwhile, the hypermarket company LuLu Group – based in the United Arab Emirates – has teamed up with Dubai Cares to adopt a school with more than 100 children in Gaza.

The group will provide children aged from three to six with access to care, education and early childcare development services.

Mr Al Gurg said: “We are again very grateful to Lulu Group for their ongoing support. The contribution of like-minded organiations such as Lulu is key to our global progress in eliminating poverty through education.”

In February staff from LuLu took part in the Dubai Cares initiative called Rebuild Palestine: Start With Education. Volunteers spent hours helping to pack 50,000 school kits for children affected by last year’s Gaza conflict.

Find out more about Dubai Cares and its programmes.

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