Connecting the Dots for the Transforming Education Summit

Look around the world at this very moment. Whether we look at it in stark numbers and statistics, whether we look at it as a generational loss of basic human rights, including the right to an education, or whether we look inwardly and feel the unspeakable human suffering and devastation taking place, we all agree: we are at a historically low point in our collective humanity.

The UN Secretary-General has launched several multilateral calls in the name of the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals to change this and to mobilize the international financing and action needed to do so.

Among these, three are of immediate relevance to the delivery of an inclusive quality education to children and youth left furthest behind in emergencies and protracted crises: armed conflicts, forced displacement and climate-induced disasters.

The first call to action refers to the UN Reform, whereby we must end silos and competition, and work together through joint programming, humanitarian-development coherence and local empowerment – with a focus on those left furthest behind.

In this vein, Education Cannot Wait was operationalized in 2017. At the time, an estimated 75 million children and youth were left behind as their education had been disrupted in crisis-affected and refugee-hosting countries. Since then, Education Cannot Wait has transformed from a new start-up fund to a matured United Nations global fund (hosted by UNICEF), with the design and agility to advance UN Reform in how we deliver education in emergencies and protracted crises to those left furthest behind. 

The second call to action refers to Our Common Agenda. Once more, the top-priority for the United Nations’ 193 Member States is to leave no one behind and to reinforce the quality of their education and learning outcomes. Due to COVID-19, the number of children and youth left furthest behind in brutal conflict, forced displacement and climate-induced disasters has sky-rocketed to nearly 130 million.

We must remember them as we prepare for the third relevant call for action: the UN Secretary-General’s Transforming Education Summit, to be held during the UN General Assembly week in September. This is our opportunity to focus international financing and multilateral action on these 130 million vulnerable children and youth.

Without an inclusive quality education, these crisis-affected girls and boys will be prevented from claiming their human rights and disempowered from rebuilding peace in their own lives and in their countries. Tragically, they will be reduced only to representing the staggering gap in reaching all the Sustainable Development Goals, not least, SDG4.

By connecting the dots between the UN Secretary-General’s UN Reform, Our Common Agenda and the Transforming Education Summit, we have a unique, historic opportunity to finally reach the millions of children and youth who are today left furthest behind.

As Norway’s Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, states in her interview of this month’s ECW Newsletter: “UN Member States have committed to leave no one behind in their implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.” In doing so, she concludes: “The success of this work depends on close collaboration between states, multilateral organizations, civil society organizations, organizations of persons with disabilities, and a wide range of partners.”

This is how the United Nations works. This is how Education Cannot Wait – the UN global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises – works to reach those left furthest behind, together with other major financing mechanisms, such as the International Financing Facility for Education (IFFED) and the Global Partnership for Education.

Leonardo da Vinci once said: “Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” Indeed, every vision, every call for action, every effort for change, is conditioned by our ability – not only to see, but how we see – by connecting the dots. Only then can we hit the real target and produce scaled up results.

Today, we see 130 million vulnerable children and youth without an education struggling simply to survive in armed conflicts, forced displacement and climate-induced disasters – none of their own making. Now is the time to connect the dots between UN Reform, Our Common Agenda and the Transforming Education Summit, by squarely placing the focus and financing on those left furthest behind.

Yasmine Sherif
Education Cannot Wait (ECW)
Director's Corner


Education Cannot Wait Interviews Norway’s Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim

“We need to assure that all children get a quality education. Norway is glad to be a co-convener of ECW’s replenishment conference. I urge all donors and private sector to rally around, and contribute to, the replenishment conference.” ~Norway’s Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim
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ECW Director Calls for Immediate Return to Education for Girls in Afghanistan

To support a peaceful and prosperous future for all Afghans, the de facto authorities must ensure the right to education for all children and adolescents in the country. Ensuring that both girls and boys can return to school – including the resumption of adolescent girls’ access to secondary education – is key for the development of the country.
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ECW Announces US$5 Million Catalytic First Emergency Response Grant in Ukraine with Urgent Appeal for US$20 Million in Additional Funding

“The children and adolescents of Ukraine are caught in a horrific armed conflict and forced displacement across the borders. Their lives have been brutally shattered from one day to another. Education Cannot Wait and our partners do what we can to provide continuous access to education. This is crucial to cope with the trauma they experience and provide some hope to which they can hold on during this extremely difficult time.” ~ ECW Director Yasmine Sherif
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The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of ECW’s High Level Steering Group, Advocates for Girls’ Education in Afghanistan

Education Cannot Wait
"We must make #education for all girls, including refugee girls – the greatest hope for women’s economic empowerment – a condition of further financial support to the regime. It's urgent & morally imperative to do everything we can for the people of #Afghanistan." ~ @GordonBrown @UN #SDG4
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Canada’s Minister of International Development Harjit S. Sajjan Advocates for Safe, Quality, Inclusive Education at Together for Learning Summit

Development Canada
Thank you for being a part of Canada’s #TogetherforLearning youth Summit! All of us have a part to play in ensuring that every child, everywhere has access to safe, quality, inclusive and equitable #education. Outcomes of the summit: #ForEveryChild
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UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell Calls for Action to Address the Global Learning Catastrophe

Catherine Russell
There is no time to lose. We can’t allow an entire generation to miss out on learning. It’s time to bring all students back to the classroom and re-ignite learning #ForEveryChild.
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Girls’ Education Must Come First: Modern Diplomacy Op-Ed by the ECW Director

The International Women’s Day is not a celebration – it is a reminder that we have yet to empower young girls in crisis to access their inherent right to a quality education.  
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ECW and Strategic Partners Join Global Citizen to End Extreme Poverty Now

This new, year-long campaign will call on world leaders to make the urgently needed commitments to End Extreme Poverty Now. With major global events and urgent actions, the Global Citizen campaign will demand that leaders stop delaying action and focus on what we need to do here and now, including support for Education Cannot Wait.
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The LEGO Foundation Press Play Podcast Interview with ECW Director Yasmine Sherif Highlights the Value of Early Childhood Education and Learning Through Play

Education Cannot Wait
New @LEGOfoundation #PressPlayPodcast featuring compelling interview w/#ECW Director @YasmineSherif1 & @WilmshurstEuan, Head of Adv/Comms at #LEGO Foundation! Listen to full podcast: @abalbrectsen @lego_education @denmark_un @rajdeep_rc #SDG4
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Building a Movement Together Through Advocacy & International Media Coverage

ECW and strategic partners made international media headlines across the globe in March, reaching a total potential audience of approximately 2.4 billion readers. The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, ECW Director Yasmine Sherif, TheirWorld President Justin van Fleet and other key leaders made urgent pleas for humanitarian action in Ukraine and a return to girls’ education in Afghanistan.
BBC | Yahoo | MSN | The Guardian | Daily Mail | Yahoo News | The Washington Post | Independent | Yahoo Finance | | U.S. News & World Report | MarketWatch | Associated Press News | ABC News | 毎日新聞 | Mainichi Newspaper | SFGATE | Press Play Podcast | Social Media Highlights


International Women’s Day: 8 March  

"Education is the spark that will ignite our efforts to empower women worldwide as the agents of change – and actioners of humanity – that will build a more equal, more sustainable world." ~ ECW Director Yasmine Sherif. Looking back on this year's International Women's Day, "Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow", join Education Cannot Wait and partners as we celebrate the power and achievements of women – especially in the fields of inclusive education, gender equality and sustainability.
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Securing a Future in the Central African Republic

With funding from ECW, the Norwegian Refugee Council, Plan International, UNICEF and UNHCR are delivering safe and protective learning opportunities.
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Welcoming Leonardo Garnier as the Special Adviser on the Transforming Education Summit

Education Cannot Wait
#ECW welcomes @UN Secretary-General @AntonioGuterres appointment of @LeoGarnier of #CostaRica as Special Adviser on the 'Transforming #Education Summit', taking place in Sept 2022 Learn more: #EducationCannotWait for any child! @yasminesherif1 #SDG4
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UN Commission on the Status of Women Focuses on Gender-Transformative Climate Action

FCDO Girls’ Education
The 66th @UN_CSW begins today, with a focus on gender-transformative climate action. Our Minister for Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean @vickyford & Special Envoy for Girls’ Education @HelenGrantMP will be there to progress this agenda. #CSW66
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UK Special Envoy for Girls’ Education Helen Grant and ECW Director Yasmine Sherif Join Plan International and Youth Representatives at the #Youth4EiE Panel

Helen Grant
Great to meet Rida & Victoria, reps on @EduCannotWait & @PlanGlobal’s youth board. In 2020, almost 10 million children were forcibly displaced by extreme weather alone. Their education cannot wait - pleased to work with the youth board on this.
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Norway’s Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim Highlights Value of the ECW Response in Ukraine

Anne Beathe Tvinnereim
Glad to support #EducationCannotWaits effort to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine that has impacted 5.7 million school-aged children. #EducationCannotWaits just announced a USD 5 million grant to Ukraine. #EducationCannotWait #Ukraine @SDG4 @norwaymfa
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ECW Investments and WFP’s School Feeding Programmes in Africa are Changing Lives for Millions

WFP Africa
School feeding is changing lives in Africa. By helping millions of children to access education, creating employment & linking smallholder farmers to new markets. #SchoolFeeding #ADSF @SchoolMeals_
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ECW Director Yasmine Sherif Joins Theirworld’s Chair Sarah Brown and Youth Advocates to Break the Bias on International Women’s Day

Sarah Brown
This #IWD, join me at @Theirworld’s Instagram Live with @LorraineCandy, @EduCannotWait’s @YasmineSherif1, and Theirworld Global Youth Ambassador @25_kashvi. We’ll be discussing how we can bring down the barriers facing girls today.
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UNESCO Has Rehabilitated All Schools in Beirut Affected by the Blast

#WATCH. In the past year & a half, @UNESCO has rehabilitated 75 public schools in #Lebanon with partners @EAA_Foundation @qatar_fund & @EduCannotWait
Today, all schools in Beirut have recovered from the port blasts but our mission continues to ensure #LearningNeverStops
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The European Humanitarian Forum Showcases Education in the Humanitarian-Development Nexus

Education Cannot Wait
Productive meetings on #Day1 of the #EuropeanHumanitarianForum: @YasmineSherif1, #ECW Director, meets w/Martin Seychell @EU_Partnerships & team! We deeply appreciate your commitment & our strong partnership so every child & girl can access safe, inclusive & #QualityEducation.
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Congratulations! BRAC Celebrates 50 Years of Empowering People!

Education Cannot Wait
Today @BRACWorld celebrates its 50th anniversary! @EduCannotWait congratulates #BRAC for 5 decades of impact in unmaking #poverty and #inequality. Join us in honoring BRAC’s history from #Bangladesh to the world! #BRACTurns50 #AlwaysaWay #SDG4
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ECW Global Youth Representative Henry Wright Advocates for ‘The Power of the Youth Voice’

Education Cannot Wait
Looking for some #SundayInspiration? Don't miss the article "The Power of the Youth Voice" by @_HDWright, the global youth representative of @EduCannotWait, the @UN global fund for education in emergencies & protracted crises! #SDG4
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ECW and GCE Launch Protect Education in Emergencies Now! #ProtectEiENow Global Campaign

The Protect Education in Emergencies Now campaign is a chance to stand together and call for urgent action for education in emergencies.
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Global Citizen Campaign Calls on World Leaders to Help Girls in Conflict go to School

Global Citizen Impact
You can help. Sign @GlblCtzn's petition to urge world leaders to put girls’ education at the top of their agenda by contributing new and substantial funds to @EduCannotWait
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Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies and protracted crises. ECW was established during the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016 by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to help reposition education as a priority on the humanitarian agenda, usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground and foster additional funding to ensure that every crisis-affected child and young person is in school and learning. Figures for donor contributions and pledges are rounded up. Variations may occur due to exchange rates and fluctuations from local currencies to $US. 

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