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Forced to Flee. Displaced with a Dream. Time for Action.

 
Genesis smiles and holds her hand up proudly to answer questions in class. She claps her hands in support of her classmates when they answer the teachers’ questions correctly. “I miss my cousins and aunts in Venezuela, she says.” Her smile fades and her lips tighten. She struggles to hold back her tears. “I can’t return. I want to stay here in my school, with my new friends.” Her smile returns, as she resolutely states: “I want to become a lawyer, so I can help solve problems.” 
 
Genesis is too serious for her 12 years of age. Like millions of displaced children, she suffers from being uprooted and she dreams of solving problems that no one that young should ever experience. Genesis is at a crossroads. We can ensure she takes the road of a continued quality education that offers her a pathway towards achieving her dream. Without our support, she will be forced the other way, risking to succumb to the very problems she wants to resolve: conflict, violence and abject poverty.
 
Genesis is one of the millions of forcibly displaced children around the globe. She attends class at the ‘Centro Etnoeducativa Indigena’ school in Maicao, in northern Colombia. The school is supported by World Vision through Education Cannot Wait’s First Emergency Response investment implemented by Save the Children, PLAN, IRC and World Vision. As we leave Genesis, we are acutely aware of the urgent need for funding to allow her to continue her education. Education Cannot Wait’s US$7 million emergency support to the region – without which Genesis would not have gone to school – will come to an end in June 2020.
 
The urgency for continued funding prompted ECW, UNICEF, Save the Children and INEE to conduct a joint mission to Colombia and Ecuador. These are two of the countries at the heart of the Venezuelan regional crisis, which is projected to be the world’s largest forced displacement crisis in 2020 – exceeding the Syrian crisis. The mission concluded that Education Cannot Wait must seek to extend its support through a multi-year investment for quality education. Today, the ECW Executive Committee approved this recommendation. Now, ECW and partners have to mobilize the resources. 

The Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan for 2020 calls for US$1.35 billion, of which US$57.1 million (4 per cent of the total appeal) is required to deliver quality education to 244,000 children, only 17 per cent of the actual number of children in need. Yet, how do we mobilize this amount for one crisis for one year, alone? And how do we explain a failure to respond to those minimum requirements to Genesis?
 
Globally, a total of 68.5 million people are forcibly displaced, of whom over half are children in need of an adequate education. Of this number, 25.9 million are refugees, including some 13 million children. The majority of refugee children struggle with disrupted or poor education, 75 per cent of adolescents do not attend secondary school and 3.7 million refugee children are completely out-of-school.
 
Beyond the Venezuelan regional crisis, forcible displacement continues to grow in the Sahel region of Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria and Ethiopia, just to mention a few. In the Arab region, despite representing just 5 per cent of the global population, the Arab states account for 32 per cent of the global refugee population and 38 per cent of the internally displaced global population.
 
In the same vein, the number of people across the globe who need humanitarian assistance is rapidly escalating with a total of 168 million people (of whom over half are children). The total financial requirements for one year alone amount to nearly US$29 billion, according to the just launched Global Humanitarian Overview 2020.
 
168 million people on our globe are dependent on humanitarian aid! How is this possible in the 21st century? What have we done to our world? What are we leaving to the next generation as our legacy? It is time to act. If not now, when?
 
In two weeks, the world will gather in Geneva for the Global Refugee Forum. Will this be an opportunity to turn the tide, at least for the millions of refugee children and youth forced to flee, yet holding on to a dream?  Let us hope that the Global Refugee Forum becomes a turning point for action. That leaders see things from afar and within, and recognize the relation between themselves, those in need and universal values.
 
These are values grounded in international law and manifested in political will to action. Because in resolving problems of human suffering in the face of conflict and forced displacement one has to translate values into action. This means comprehensive action matched by financing to produce sustainable outcomes.
 
Together with our partners in the United Nations, host-governments, strategic donors, civil society and private sector, Education Cannot Wait has just reached close to 2 million girls and boys. Another 7 million children and youth must be reached by 2021.  In Uganda, the government just announced that the Education Cannot Wait investment in the Response Plan for Refugees and Host Communities for South Sudanese refugees is a success-story. Still, another $80 million will be required in 2020 for Uganda alone to prevent disruption of this positive model.

Indeed, much more needs to be done. To deliver on the Education Cannot Wait target of quality education to 9 million children and youth in forced displacement and protracted crisis by 2021, US$1.8 billion is required
Is it possible? Yes, provided that we are driven by the same intense desire as Genesis: that all we want to do is to solve problems, alleviate human suffering and empower the next generation.
The Global Refugee Forum may be the test.
 
Yasmine Sherif
Director
Education Cannot Wait

RESULTS & UPDATES


 

NEWS

IN THE ARAB REGION, EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT


ECW Director Yasmine Sherif highlights important lessons from the New Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report on Migration, displacement and education: Arab States. ‘Forced displacement on this scale has had a devastating impact on education and the trends revealed in UNESCO’s report are deeply concerning.’ Sherif argues that through education, children and youth can reclaim their identity, tap into their resilience and transform into a force of productivity, innovation and service.
Read the article

ECW, UNICEF, SAVE THE CHILDREN AND INEE CONDUCTED A JOINT FACT-FINDING MISSION TO COLOMBIA AND ECUADOR


From 10-16 November, participants to the joint mission visited Colombia and Ecuador to meet the main education stakeholders responding to the Venezuelan Refugee and Migrant Crisis and see first-hand the results from the ECW First Emergency Response investment in the region. The consultations and visits provided the mission with an understanding of the scope of needs and was an opportunity to advocate for additional support to respond to the dire situation, paving the way for a multi-year ECW investment in the region.    

WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME AND EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT TEAM UP TO REACH VULNERABLE CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN EMERGENCIES

‘War, displacement and natural disasters rob the most vulnerable children of an education. A simple school meal can help girls and boys stay in school and enjoy a taste of normality. Support WFP and ECW’s partnership to give these kids new hope.’ – David Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Programme.

Learn More | Watch Video

BUILDING CLASSROOMS FOR REFUGEES IN ETHIOPIA

With funding from Education Cannot Wait, the Gambella Regional Government in Ethiopia and UNICEF inaugurated 84 new classrooms in the Nguenyyiel, Terkidi, Kule, and Jewi refugee camps. With the new classrooms, 8,500 refugee children, 38 per cent of whom are girls, will receive quality educational opportunities.
Learn More

GIRLS TARGETED WHEN SCHOOLS ATTACKED, IMPACTING LIVES, EDUCATION

In conflicts around the world, female students and educators suffer horrific acts of violence within their schools and universities, including rape, forced marriage, and sexual slavery, according to a new report from the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) released on the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. 
Read the Report
 

PARTNER VOICES Q&A

‘WHY EDUCATION IN EMERGENCIES & CRISES IS CRUCIAL FOR CHILDREN’: NORWAY’S MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, DAG INGE ULSTEIN

‘As Education Cannot Wait (ECW) has highlighted, when a crisis erupts, education is often the first service to be lost and the last to be resumed. We cannot afford to neglect education in emergencies. Schooling not only gives children and youth the skills and knowledge they need to rebuild their society once a crisis is over; it also offers them protection and a sense of normality in an otherwise chaotic and traumatic situation.’ – Dag Inge Ulstein Norwegian Minister of International Development.
Read the Q&A

SOCIAL

Kent Page
"I want to be a lawyer so I can help solve problems for families", Genesis, 12, tells #ECW Director @YasmineSherif1 (a lawyer herself). Genesis is Venezuelan & now back at school at 'Centro Etnoeducativa Indigena', supported by @WorldVisionCo w/ECW-funding in Maicao, #Colombia
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Save the Children Uganda
First Lady @JanetMuseveni lauds the @EduCannotWait programme and Education Consortium in Uganda as a huge success. The first year has improved access to learning for 150,000 refugee & host community children. On to year 2! Read more in today's  @newvisionwire
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UNHCR Education
Investing in inclusive quality #education is the best way to help #refugees become self-reliant. The Refugee Education 2030 Strategy shows how we jointly achieve more for refugees + host communities @GPforEducation @EduCannotWait @WBG_Education https://unhcr.org/5d651da88d7.pdf
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Education Cannot Wait
The Global Framework on Refugee Education is out: http://unhcr.org/5dd50ce47 #ECW looks forward to strong pledges at December's #RefugeeForum in #Geneva! We stand #WithRefugees and work to get refugee & forcibly displaced children back to school. @Refugees @FilippoGrandi @un
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GEM Report
Cities are crucial partners for supporting migrants and refugees and helping them belong, including through education
#righttothecity Bit.ly/righttothecity
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UNGEI
#SRGBV affects the entire school community, which is why we need a Whole School Approach to address it → http://bit.ly/UNGEI-WholeSchoolApproach… During this #16Days
of Activism, will you stand with us to #EndSRGBV? Together we can make schools #SafeToLearn
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UPCOMING EVENTS

FIRST GLOBAL REFUGEE FORUM

Geneva, 17-18 December 2019
More than 70 million people today are forcibly displaced by violence and persecution around the world. The aim of the Global Refugee Forum is to accelerate actions by governments, the private sector, international institutions and organisations, the non-governmental sector, and civil society in implementing the new Global Compact on Refugees. ECW Director Yasmine Sherif will join UNHCR, the Government of Switzerland and world leaders to generate impactful commitments to improve the lives of refugees and host communities worldwide.
Learn More

CONTRIBUTIONS & PLEDGES TO ECW


 

 
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OUR DONORS AND PARTNERS

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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