EU to increase its aid spending on education in emergencies

Syrian Refugees Turkey 1
Refugee children whose families fled from conflicts are getting education in Turkey (UNICEF)

Children in conflicts, Education Cannot Wait, Education funding, Education in emergencies, Refugees and internally displaced people

The European Union is showing leadership by targeting 10% of its aid budget to help children back into school quickly after a humanitarian emergency.

The European Union is to spend more of its humanitarian aid budget on helping children get back into school in the wake of an emergency.

From next year, it will allocate 10% of its overall aid budget to education in emergencies – and aim to ensure affected students are learning again within three months.

“With humanitarian crises growing across the world, millions of children are at risk of growing up without education. We have a responsibility to act to prevent lost generations,” said Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.

The EU and Stylianides have increasingly shown global leadership on providing education in emergencies.

Education appeals get less than 2% of humanitarian aid. But the EU bucked the trend by increasing its education share of spending to 8% this year and aims to reach 10% in 2019.

Its biggest project currently is the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education programme in Turkey that has helped to put 290,000 refugee children into school. The EU has put almost $100 million into the scheme. 

It also funds projects in 52 countries and more than 5.5 million girls and boys have benefited since 2016.

Last year 75 million children and youth had their education disrupted, received poor-quality education or dropped out of school altogether because of conflicts or natural disasters.

Getting children back into education after an emergency is crucial. Not only will they be learning again, being in a safe place with other children helps them to recover from trauma.

The EU’s new policy framework has four key priorities:

  • Improve access to learning opportunities for children and young people,
  • Provide quality education and training
  • Ensure education is protected from attacks
  • Introduce rapid and innovative education responses

Stylianides said: “Our new policy will allow us to help children better and quicker than before, even in the most difficult situations. 

“To do so, we will strengthen cooperation with other donors and partners and better link our short and long-term assistance.”

More news

See all news