Inclusive and equitable quality education is the right of every girl and boy and the objective of Sustainable Development Goal 4.
BRIDGING THE GAP AND CROSSING THE BRIDGE
It may be a challenge, but it is also an absolute necessity: bridging the gap between international law and reality and quickly crossing the bridge to reach all crisis-affected children and youth left furthest behind. Inclusive and equitable quality education is the right of every girl and boy and the objective of Sustainable Development Goal 4.
This crucial issue was further addressed in the subsequent UN Security Council open debate meeting on 28 June 2021. These grave violations include: the killing and maiming of children and youth; abduction of girls and boys; attacks against schools, their students and teachers; recruitment and use of children as soldiers; widespread sexual violence; and, the denial of access to schools for children and youth.
Despite this, on 5 July, another 150 students were reportedly abducted from a school in Kaduna State, Nigeria. Abductions, attacks against schools and schoolchildren appear to be increasing in frequency and they must end now. We join our strategic partners in calling for the safe, swift return of these girls and boys to their families.
This must be our wake-up call, spurring us to take strong collective action so that every child and youth can enjoy their inherent human right to quality education - without fear of airstrikes, abductions, sexual and gender-based violence and forced recruitment into armed and violent groups.
The numbers are staggering. Last year more than 8,400 children and youth were killed or maimed in ongoing wars in Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Another 7,000 were recruited and used as fighters, mainly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Myanmar, Somalia and Syria. Abductions rose by 90 per cent last year, while rape and other forms of sexual violence shot up a staggering 70 per cent.
These numbers represent young people suffering multiple concurrent challenges: COVID-19, armed conflicts and lawlessness, a rise in severity of climate change-induced disasters, forced displacement and underlying issues of extreme poverty, hunger and inequality. Each one by itself is enough to push far too many girls and boys out of school, destroying their hope and stalling progress to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the full spectrum of human rights, and the commitments of the Safe Schools Declaration.
In emergency and protracted crises contexts, no such challenge comes alone, but rather as combined factors creating a storm of extreme helplessness, unspeakable pain and a loss of hope in the future. The innocent children and youth are the first victims, quickly followed by their families, communities, societies, their countries and indeed the world.
As the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, Education Cannot Wait places physical and legal protection and the respect for international law at the center of its investments in delivering on SDG4 for those left furthest behind. In closing the gap and racing for the Sustainable Development Goals, we must bridge the gap between our commitments in international law and the Safe School Declaration. We need the world’s leaders to look afar and within: to take all measures possible - political, financial, legal, physical - to support a safe and inclusive quality education for all girls and boys enduring daily threats to their lives in emergencies and protracted crisis.
During the June Security Council sessions, nations across the globe stood up to call for expanded support for education in emergencies and protracted crisis. As the most powerful body in the United Nations system, the UN Security Council can and must uphold peace and security and, in so doing, create an environment in which 128 million children and youth in crisis can safely access their right to an inclusive and continued quality education.
As a UN/UNICEF hosted global fund, Education Cannot Wait invokes both fast-acting emergency responses and multi-year resilience programmes in some of the most crisis-affected countries on the globe, such as in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Lebanon and Nigeria. By embracing a new way of working and bridging the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, Education Cannot Wait puts education first - not second, third or fourth - and ensures that protective measures are embedded in all its investments.
Still, we also need the Security Council and all UN Member States and Regional Organizations to translate their political muscle into financial resources and put an end to breaches of international humanitarian law and human rights law. With such powerful support, Syrian girls living with disabilities like Kawthar will have a chance to go to school for the first time. Teenagers like Maraseel Alsaqaf can sit for exams in Yemen and dream one day of becoming doctors and engineers. Ten-year-old Sabah and her friends can return to school in Somalia.
As a global fund dedicated to education in emergencies and protracted crisis, and as a global movement for action, we jointly call on world leaders to make political choices based on legal imperatives and financial abundance. Indeed, our strategic partners: governments, public and private sector donors, UN agencies, civil society organizations, academia and the media stand together in our shared vision for those left furthest behind. Join ECW’s growing global movement to end grave violations and abuses against children and youth so they can benefit from their right to a safe learning environment and quality education. We call on public donors, the private sector and philanthropic foundations to urgently mobilize US$400 million for ECW.
In this month’s ECW Newsletter, we feature a compelling and inspiring interview with Jan Egeland, Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, who is one of our fearless, tireless and passionate stakeholders and global leaders working round the clock to pave the way toward achieving universal and equitable quality education by 2030 in some of the most conflict-ridden parts of the world.
For girls like Kawthar, Maraseel and Sabah, education cannot wait and safe schools cannot wait. With bold, courageous and swift political and financial action, we can reach girls like Kawthar, Maraseel and Sabah with same sense of urgency. By bridging the gap, we can help them, and 128 million crisis-affected children and youth cross the bridge.
ECW INTERVIEWS JAN EGELAND, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE NORWEGIAN REFUGEE COUNCIL
Learn more about ECW’s ongoing collaboration with the Norwegian Refugee Council, important actions that are being taken to reach refugees and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and efforts to reach the Grand Bargain targets and address climate change through education in emergencies actions globally in this insightful interview with one of the world’s leading advocates for refugees. Learn More
UK MISSION TO THE UNITED NATIONS AMBASSADOR BARBARA WOODWARD HIGHLIGHTS IMPACT OF ECW ON WORLD REFUGEE DAY IN JOINT VIDEO ADDRESS WITH ECW DIRECTOR YASMINE SHERIF
IPS NEWS INTERVIEW WITH ECW DIRECTOR YASMINE SHERIF ON WORLD REFUGEE DAY: “THEY UNDERSTAND THE VALUE OF AN EDUCATION. THIS IS THEIR HOPE. THIS IS THEIR DREAM.”
In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with IPS, ECW Director Yasmine Sherif shared her vision for a world where dignity and the right to believe in better prospects are returned to child refugees – something, she says, that can be delivered through education. “When you sit down and listen to young refugees in Bangladesh, in Colombia, in Lebanon, or in Uganda, the large majority will tell you they dream of becoming somebody that lives a better life, that helps others, that serves their communities or their country.” Learn More
ECW ANNOUNCES US$1 MILLION FIRST EMERGENCY RESPONSE GRANT IN THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Responding to displacement, school closures and violence, new ECW grant delivered by UNICEF and the Norwegian Refugee Council will reach 18,300 children and youth. English | French
ECW DEVELOPS GROUNDBREAKING CURRICULUM FOR CRISIS-AFFECTED ADOLESCENTS - DERIVED FROM VIKTOR FRANKL’S SEMINAL WORK ‘MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING’
CHILDREN IN WAR REPORT OFFERS TRAGIC EVIDENCE OF GRAVE VIOLATIONS AGAINST CHILDREN
United Nations @UN
“#ECW supports @UN-SG @AntonioGuterres’ call for children to be protected at all times. It is unacceptable that schools are constantly attacked, looted, destroyed or used for military purposes and girls’ educational facilities are disproportionately targeted.” ~ @YasmineSherif1
“There is no place for children in conflict, and we must not allow conflict to trample on the rights of children.” -- @antonioguterres calls on Security Council and all UN member countries to protect children at all times. Share Tweet
THEIRWORLD AND ECW STRONGLY CONDEMN THE ABDUCTION OF SCHOOLCHILDREN IN NIGERIA
We are deeply alarmed by reports of the abduction of 80 schoolchildren in the State of Kebbi in Nigeria on 17 June and call for their immediate release. This news comes only a few days after another tragic attack in which 150 students were abducted in north-central Nigeria. Such heinous violence has been increasing in the country, with around 1,000 girls and boys reportedly abducted by armed elements in recent months, according to the United Nations. Learn More
CENTRAL SAHEL: GROUND ZERO IN TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE THROUGH EDUCATION – ECW DIRECTOR OPINION PIECE
ECW Director Yasmine Sherif sheds light on the transformational power of education for children and youth already impacted by climate-induced disasters in this compelling Inter Press News Service opinion piece. Learn More
TECHNICAL GUIDANCE NOTE ON MENTAL HEALTH AND PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT IN EDUCATION IN EMERGENCIES AND PROTRACTED CRISES
This guidance note provides practical, concrete guidance to ECW Multi-Year Resilience Programme and First Emergency Response proposal development teams during scoping, proposal development and implementation phases. Learn More
AFRICA’S FORGOTTEN CRISIS – IPS NEWS OPINION PIECE BY ECW DIRECTOR
‘Here on the frontlines of violence, forced displacement, climate change-induced disasters, and COVID-19, an entire generation of children are at risk of being left so far behind they will never catch up.’ – ECW Director Yasmine Sherif advocates for Africa’s lost generation in this inspiring Inter Press News Service opinion piece. Learn More
A HOPEFUL, HEALTHY, AND HAPPY LIVING AND LEARNING TOOLKIT
‘A Hopeful, Healthy, and Happy Living and Learning Toolkit’ is a series of tools designed to facilitate support for children, parents/caregivers and teachers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but may be useful for anyone, anywhere, and any time. The toolkit was developed by the IFRC PS Centre, REPSSI and APSSI with support from MHPSS.net and funding from ECW. Learn More
UK SPECIAL ENVOY FOR GIRLS’ EDUCTION HELEN GRANT HIGHLIGHTS VALUE OF REACHING REFUGEE GIRLS WITH ECW
Helen Grant @HelenGrantMP
This #RefugeeDay I think of the many girls supported by @EduCannotWait, like Susan, who have faced immeasurable barriers to their education. Susan is a brave 18-year-old refugee whom I was honoured to meet in Uganda, home to one of the largest refugee populations in the world. Share Tweet
CANADA COMMITS AT G7 TO ENSURING UNIVERSAL EDUCATION
ENHANCING INCLUSIVE EQUITABLE QUALITY EDUCATION FOR GIRLS & BOYS WITH DISABILITIES
Education Cannot Wait @EduCannotWait
Enhancing Inclusive Equitable Quality Education for Girls & Boys with Disabilities "All ECW investments in crisis-affected settings have a target of 10% of children w/disabilities. We work closely with partners to ensure we meet the needs of these girls & boys." ~Mario Spiezio Share Tweet
ECW DIRECTOR YASMINE SHERIF JOINS INSIDE GENEVA PODCAST TO HIGHLIGHT VALUE OF MAKING EDUCATION A PRIORITY IN HUMANITARIAN EMERGENCIES
Together, we can grant equitable access to a seat at school. It is the greatest gift we can give today’s youth and future generations in this unprecedented time.” Thomas H. Smolich SG, JRS International Director. @EduCannotWait Share Tweet
FONDAZIONE AVSI HIGHLIGHTS INSPIRING DRAWINGS FROM REFUGEE CHILDREN
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.