World Humanitarian Summit: education in emergencies news, views and videos

Children in conflicts, Education funding, Education in emergencies

A historic meeting of world leaders, agencies and campaigners has been convened to tackle the greatest humanitarian crisis since World War II.

The first World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, on May 23-24 has been branded as “our chance to end” that crisis.

This is also the opportunity to address the woeful underfunding of education in humanitarian emergencies. Last year 75 million children had their schooling disrupted by conflicts and natural disasters – yet less than 2% of all humanitarian aid went towards education.

What is the summit and what does it mean for education?

That leaves girls and boys vulnerable to trafficking, child labour early marriage, exploitation and extremism. Campaigners including A World at School have called for urgent action from world leaders to commit $4 billion to the new Education Cannot Wait fund for education in emergencies.

The campaign for education in emergencies funding is a huge team effort. We’ve had backing from high-profile people as diverse as Desmond Tutu, Gordon Brown and Shakira. Child rights champions such as Anthony Lake at UNICEF have led the charge to bridge the gap between emergencies and development. The Norwegian government has also been a firmly commited partner.

In the run-up to the summit, during the events and afterwards, A World at School will update you with news, views and videos about the cause of education in emergencies. Most recent items will be at the top of this blog.

June 2 – how youth took #SafeSchools camapign to the summit

A World at School’s team of Global Youth Ambassadors report back on what they did at the summit and what was achieved. 

See the full roundup on Storify

May 25 – Education Cannot Wait website is live

After the official launch of the fund comes the official launch of the fund website.

See it here

May 24 – #SafeSchools book goes on a tour of Istanbul

This special book contains drawings by children that show what they think a safe school looks like. They were collected by some of our amazing Global Youth Ambassadors – you can see some of the drawings here.

Follow the book’s progress on our Twitter feed

May 24 – follow our Education Cannot Wait pledges tracker

After the Education Cannot Wait fund is announced, it’s vital that world leaders and donors step up and make the commitments need to get millions of children into school. You can use the A World at School tracker to see what commitments are made during the summit and in the weeks and months ahead as we campaign together until we get every child into school and learning.

Follow the tracker here

May 23 – Sarah Brown on Theirworld and the fund

The President of Theirworld – the children’s charity behind A World at School – tells why a safe school is so vital to children in emergencies.

May 23 – fund is launched and aims to help 13m children

After months of campaigning, the Education Cannot Wait fund is launched – and aims to reach more than 13.6 million children and youth living in crisis situations with quality education over the next five years and 75 million by 2030.

Read the full story

May 23 – campaigners welcome new fund but with warning

The launch is welcomed by many of those who have spent months and years campaigning for it. But there are warnings for world leaders that they will have to match the goodwill and promises with real commitment and money if the fund is to succeed and deliver education urgently where it is most needed.

Read what they said

May 23 – Theirworld event on delivering education in emergencies

A special side event is hosted by Theirworld. The audience comprises Theirworld supporters, partners, youth, World Humanitarian Summit leaders and NGOs.

Read coverage of the event

May 23 – GBC-Education hosts top-level event

On the first day of the summit, the Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC-Education) is hosting an event on delivering education to children caught up in humanitarian emergencies. It has attracted more than 150 high-­level representatives from businesses, philanthropic organisations, governments, UN agencies and multilateral groups.

Follow coverage of the event

May 23 – GBC-Education announces $100m for fund

The private sector is to mobilise $100 million of financial and relevant in-kind contributions for the new fund, GBC-Education has announced. Sarah Brown, Executive Chair of GBC-Education, said: “In emergency situations, education is the last priority, leaving millions of children and youth on the streets and impacting growth, stability, innovation and opportunity. “

Read the full story

The picture below shows Sarah visiting Syrian refugee students at Mtein school in Mount Lebanon.

May 21 – 250,000 sign petition for world leaders

The #SafeSchools petition with more than 250,000 signatures has landed at the summit in Istanbul. It will be handed to world leaders by youth education activists who are attending the summit.

Read the full story

May 20 – report shows aid is failing girls

Theirworld, the children’s charity behind A World at School, highlights how girls’ education is disproportionately affected during and after emergency situations.

Read the full story and the report

May 20 – huge numbers of refugees out of school

Just 50% of refugee children are in primary school and 25% of refugee adolescents are in secondary school, a new policy paper released by United Nations agencies UNESCO and UNHCR reveals.

Read the full story

May 19 – petition hand-in at 10 Downing Street

Theirworld, War Child and Global Citizen go to 10 Downing Street – official home of the British Prime Minister David Cameron – to hand in signatures from the #SafeSchools petition, urging leaders to take urgent action to back the Education Cannot Wait fund with commitment and funding.

May 17 – donors must act now says UN envoy Gordon Brown

International leaders must take urgent action to ensure the success of the Education Cannot Wait fund – or face a “full-blown global crisis” that will haunt the world for three generations, says Gordon Brown, the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education.

Read his warning

May 16 – video: stars speak up for Safe Schools

Theirworld releases a film featuring the voices of young people around the world to send a powerful message to world leaders at the summit. It features TV actor Laura Carmichael and magician Dynamo delivering a poem with the spoken word artist Yomi “GREEdS” Sode.

May 16 – Save The Children speaks out

Refugee children should be in a safe school and learning within one month of being displaced from their homes, says the international charity. It publishes a report that reveals half of all the world’s refugee children are out of school and at risk of being exploited for child marriage, child labour, trafficking or other abuses.

Read the story and the report

May 12 – children draw their Safe Schools

We asked children in several countries to draw what a safe school looks like – their drawings will be presented at the summit.

See some of the drawings

May 12 – send a message to world leaders

A World at School calls on supporters to tweet a message to leaders that Education Cannot Wait and they must match promises with action.

See the list of leaders

May 3 – fund is named as UNICEF says 75m children affected

The name is revealed – the Education Cannot Wait fund – along with the aim to raise almost $4 billion to reach 13.6 million children within five years and 75 million by 2030. On the same day, a UNICEF report says 75 million children aged from three to 18 in 35 countries are considered in desperate need of education or help to stay in school.

Read the full story

May 4 – fund is named, now it needs action

The Education Cannot Wait fund is announced, along with the aim to raise almost $4 billion to reach 13.6 million children within five years and 75 million by 2030. A World at School says now there can be no excuses – international leaders and donors must step up at the summit this month and deliver the funding.

Read the full story

April 21 – virtual reality film shows plight of Nepal’s children

Theirworld launches an amazing 360-degree VR film called Safe Schools: Nepal. It transports the viewer to Nepal to see and hear stories of children whose education has been affected by last year’s earthquake.

April 19 – the fund needs a name

The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF – one of the bodies shepherding the setting-up of the platform – wants to hear your views before picking an official name.

Read the full story

April 13-15 – In the spotlight at Spring Meetings

The 2016 Spring Meetings in Washington, DC, convened by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, see a big push on education funding and providing schooling in emergencies. As well as the Education Commission meeting, the Champions Group meets to oversee the work to create the new fund. And education in emergencies is spotlight at an event hosted by the Global Business Coalition for Education.

Find out more here

The picture shows Selamawit Bekele, one of A World at School’s Global Youth Ambassadors, with UN education envoy Gordon Brown at the Champions Group meeting.

GYA Selamawit Bekele at Champions Group with Gordon Brown

April 8 – 50 charities call for action

More than 50 leading global charities call on the international community to commit to a new fund when they meet at the World Humanitarian Summit. They include Theirworld, World Vision, Oxfam, ActionAid, and Muslim Aid.

See the full list of charities

March 17 – #SafeSchools petition is launched

Theirworld starts the #SafeSchools campaign to ensure those leaders commit to set up the education in emergencies fund and asks people to sign the #SafeSchools petition.

Read the full story

March 17 – A World at School scorecard

The number of children whose education has been disrupted by conflicts and natural disasters in 2015 is revealed in an education in emergencies “scorecard” published by A World at School, which calls for urgent action from world leaders.

Read the full scorecard and report

January 20 – the consultation process

The Education in Emergencies Global Consultation – led by the International Network for Education in Emergencies – is gathering opinions and ideas from all over the world about a new fund. A World at School, our network of Global Youth Ambassadors and our sister organisation the Global Business Coalition for Education are all playing key roles in this process by giving their views.

Full guide to the consultation process

July 7, 2015 – leaders agree action is needed

At the Oslo Education Summit, leaders decide to move forward on developing a system to improve how aid is provided in emergencies and urgently address the gap in funding of education in emergencies. It is provisionally called the Global Humanitarian Platform and Fund for Education in Emergencies.

Read more about the plan

June 23, 2015 – a warning from think-tank

The UK-based think tank Overseas Development Institute warns that millions of children are missing out on school, dropping out or receiving poor-quality education because of emergency situations. 
In a paper for the Oslo Summit on Education for Development on July 6 and 7, it makes recommendations – including the creation of a special fund.

Read the full story


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