Promoting quality education for all.

World Humanitarian Day Highlights Campaign to Act for Education in Crisis

Giulia McPherson, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA , 

On World Humanitarian Day (August 19th), 16 U.S.-based organizations have joined together to encourage continued U.S. Government investments in Education Cannot Wait (ECW), a global initiative striving to ensure access to safe, free, and quality education for all crisis-affected children and youth by 2030.

This effort precedes the 2019 United Nations General Assembly Week taking place in September, an opportunity to bring together member states, donors, private sector companies and foundations, and civil society to learn more about Education Cannot Wait’s success stories and provide a platform to announce new pledges in support of its urgently needed investments.

In its first two years of operations, Education Cannot Wait reached 1.4 million children and youth – half of whom are girls – in 25 crisis-affected countries through crisis sensitive and well-coordinated emergency and multi-year investments. Working with recipient governments and both humanitarian and development actors, Education Cannot Wait facilitates and invests in joint programming, which addresses the humanitarian-development continuum.

One in four of the world’s school aged children lives in countries affect by crisis, and of these children, 75 million continue to be in danger of or already missing out on their right to education. In addition, the world is witnessing the highest levels of forced displacement since World War II, with more than 70 million refugees and others who have been forcibly displaced from their homes.

The U.S. Government has been a critical partner for Education Cannot Wait, making an initial $21 million investment to help launch ECW at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016. Yet, the scale and urgency of the current education crisis requires a more robust commitment from the U.S. and others.

Education Cannot Wait and its partners are calling on governments, private sector companies and foundations, philanthropic organizations and global leaders to support its efforts to mobilize $1.8 billion in funding for education in crisis settings by 2021. This investment will support the delivery of quality education to nearly to 9 million children annually in some of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

To learn more about this global effort, visit the Act for Education in Crisis campaign website and read the public statement by civil society organizations calling on the U.S. Government to make a new commitment to Education Cannot Wait.

Giulia McPherson is the Director of Advocacy and Operations at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and Chair of the Global Campaign for Education-US’s Working Group on Education in Emergencies.

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