August 26, 2019

UK funding to help 600,000 children go to school in crisis countries

Aisha Mahamadou, 16, writes on the blackboard in a school supported by Education Cannot Wait in Daressalam refugee camp in the Lake Chad region

Photo credit: UNICEF / Azoura

The biggest contribution yet to Education Cannot Wait means the global fund for education in emergencies will make girls who are being left behind a priority.

Vulnerable children caught up in conflicts and crises around the world will get the chance to go to school thanks to $110 million (£90 million) of funding from the United Kingdom.

The money will benefit 600,000 children and youth through the work of Education Cannot Wait - the global fund for education in emergencies.

Girls - who are more than twice as likely to be out of school if they live in conflict areas - will be a priority, as will children with disabilities, minority groups and refugees. 

“This generous contribution for education in emergencies by the UK’s Department of International Development (DFID) to Education Cannot Wait is the largest single contribution received and will have a massive, positive impact,” said  Yasmine Sherif, the fund's Director.

“It will benefit 600,000 children and youth - especially girls - whose education is disrupted and leaves them furthest behind due to armed conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies around the world.”

Theirworld's #WriteThewrong campaign is calling for Education Cannot Wait to be fully funded and wants more donors to pledge support at the United Nations General Assembly next month. The fund needs $1.8 billion in commitments to launch multi-year educational responses in 25 priority countries by 2021.

Theirworld has been a staunch supporter of Education Cannot Wait since it was established at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016.  

Our Global Business Coalition for Education partners have been bringing business support to country education responses and our partnership with the National Postcode Loterij has allowed Theirworld to provide funding to Education Cannot Wait for over 5,000 refugees in the Greek Islands. 

Theirworld President Justin van Fleet said: "Far too many young people are caught up in war, conflict and emergency and being systematically locked out of opportunity. The UK commitment should encourage other donors to step up to the plate and fully fund Education Cannot Wait so we can #WriteTheWrong and end the global education crisis.”

The fund was set up because education receives less than 2% of global humanitarian aid - even though 75 million children and youth have their schooling disrupted by conflicts and crises.

Girls attend a class in South Sudan

Photo credit: Education Cannot Wait

Girls who are out of school in emergency settings are at high risk of early marriage, child labour, sexual abuse and exploitation.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the UK funding at the G7 summit in France at the weekend. He called on G7 countries to dedicate more of their aid budget to education, particularly for girls living in conflict areas.

"It is girls that suffer the most growing up in societies marred by violence. We owe them better," said Johnson. "Girls’ education is the Swiss Army knife that solves a multitude of the world’s problems. Everyone benefits from a world where girls have the same opportunities as their brothers."

A third of the new UK funding will be used to help children living through the world’s "forgotten crises", such as the emergency in Africa's Sahel region, where thousands of girls are prevented from going to school due to conflict and instability.

The UK is now Education Cannot Wait's largest donor, having given a total of $154 million. 

The fund and its partners have already reached nearly 1.5 million children and youth in crises with quality education opportunities.

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