Education Cannot Wait Fund. A forth of the world’s school children are living in the midst of wars and disasters, says UNICEF. They number 462 million children. But there is a new Fund that might get children back in school…
While 75 million kids are in dire need of help to stay in school, only 2% of the global humanitarian resources are dedicated to education. At the first World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul later this month, the Education Cannot Wait fund will be launched. That initiative aims to raise nearly $4 billion in order to reach 13.6 million children within five years and 75 million by 2030.
Josephine Bourne is education chief for UNICEF. She said, “Education changes lives in emergencies. Going to school keeps children safe from abuses like trafficking and recruitment into armed groups and is a vital investment in children’s futures and in the future of their communities.”
School also helps guard against child labour and child marriage, yet the role of education in protecting children is often overlooked during crises, UNICEF said. Bourne added, “It is time education is prioritised by the international community as an essential part of basic humanitarian response, alongside water, food and shelter.”
In Syria more than 6,000 schools are out of use, having been attacked, occupied by the military or turned into an emergency shelter. In Central African Republic a quarter of schools are not functioning. In periods of crisis, parents cite education as one of their top priorities, yet last year only a fraction of children identified as needing education in humanitarian response plans were reached, UNICEF said. The new fund would disburse aid at the first sign of upheaval and provide longer term funding in protracted crises, UNICEF said in a report.
Children often are forced to move with each new crisis, and that interrupts their schooling.
UNICEF explains that in poor communities, if a child is out of school for more than a year, they are not likely to return.
“Education can be a driver of stability, reconciliation and peace-building, and a buffer against future social and economic shocks,” the report said. “If education is not used as a lever to break the cycle, then crises will continue to be repeated.”
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