September 21, 2018

Education Cannot Wait to back programmes for 1.6m children hit by conflict

The Education Cannot Wait fund is giving $35 million to support the launch of education programmes in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Uganda

Photo credit: Education Cannot Wait

The multi-year projects in Uganda, Afghanistan and Bangladesh mean the fund has now invested in 17 crisis-affected countries.

A fund to support education in humanitarian emergencies is to give $35 million for groundbreaking programmes that will help to educate 1.6 million children and youth.

Education Cannot Wait (ECW) announced today it will back the launch of three multi-year education projects in Uganda, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

It's the largest allocation from the fund since it was established after campaigning by Theirworld and others. Just over a year into its operations, ECW has now invested a total of $127 million in 17 crisis-affected countries, reaching 765,000 children and youth.

“The launch of these three multi-year programmes marks a turning point in the way the multilateral aid system delivers education in emergencies and protracted crises,” said ECW Director Yasmine Sherif.

The programmes for children affected by conflict and violence are:


The Education Response Plan for refugees and host communities was announced earlier this week. In a country that hosts 1.4 million refugees, it will provide education to more than 560,000 refugee and host community children and youth.

It will also recruit and pay more than 9000 teachers each year, train over 12,500 teachers and build close to 3000 classrooms annually. 

The response plan is the first of its kind worldwide and represents a huge policy step forward for refugee education.

Education Cannot Wait will contribute $11 million to the response plan, which has been developed under the leadership of the Ugandan education ministry and the UN refugee agency UNHCR. It will involve UN agencies and NGOs including Save the Children, Plan International, BRAC, Norwegian Refugee Council and World Vision.

Sherif said: "When Uganda sets a model example of welcoming such significant number of refugees, focusing on their education – it is incumbent on the rest of the world to show the same generosity in supporting Uganda to sustain her shining example.”

Children get lessons at the Shaheedan camp in Afghanistan

Photo credit: Education Cannot Wait


ECW will give $12 million to a programme to reach over 500,000 internally displaced and returnee children and youth - as well as vulnerable children in remote areas and host communities. 

The three-year programme needs contributions of $150 million to create safer learning environments and get more girls into school.

Rabidullah, 12, is already being helped by ECW funding in Afghanistan. He lives in the Shaheedan displacement camp in Nangarhar province, where there are no school facilities, books, classrooms or teachers.

“I suffered. I lost my home, my classmates and my teacher, and was left without a school, class or books,” he said.

With financial support from ECW, a new community-based school is being established in the camp.


A two-year plan will build on the existing emergency response and reach over 560,000 Rohingya refugee and host community children and youth and 9800 teachers in the Cox’s Bazar district.

ECW will contribute $12 million to the programme.

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