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WE MUST MAKE IT HAPPEN - TOGETHER!

“As we enter 2021, education must be at the core of pandemic response and recovery efforts,” says António Gutteres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in his interview with Education Cannot Wait (ECW) for this monthly issue, reminding us that “upholding our pledge to leave no one behind starts with education.”

Indeed, without making inclusive, quality education a priority in the COVID-19 response and recovery for those left furthest behind in armed conflicts, forced displacement and climate-induced disasters, we will see a continued exacerbation of inequalities and a deepened global learning crisis, all while ongoing forced displacement and migration lead to an unprecedented number of children and youth losing access to their inherent human right of an education.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further impacted the marginalization of girls and boys in contexts already affected by crisis, while wealthier children in stable countries have more easily been able to sustain their learning using remote technologies. However, today, a staggering 2.2 billion children globally, or 2/3 of children and youth under the age of 25, do not have access to internet at home, preventing them from accessing online learning during school closures. Today, only 6% of children in low-income countries have access to internet at home compared to 87% in high income countries, while only 5% of children and young people in West and Central Africa have access to internet compared to 33% globally. These figures reveal the stark reality of the huge digital divide in a long-standing learning crisis.

As a result of COVID-19, the learning crisis is now plunging to new depths. During our ECW mission to Burkina Faso in January 2021, we stood face to face with the naked reality of this learning crisis: teachers without the technology and internet access needed, alongside internally displaced and refugee children and youth with no possibility to access remote learning. Their eyes hollow, their hope fading away.

“Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else,” Leonardo da Vinci once said. Education sits at the very heart of all Sustainable Development Goals. Without an inclusive quality education, the world will also drift further away from achieving gender equality, ending poverty, ensuring decent work and economic growth, and from achieving peace, justice and strong institutions - in both conflict- and crisis-affected countries that need it the most to build back better.

In 2016, well before COVID-19, over 600 million girls and boys, including adolescents, were estimated to not be reaching minimum proficiency levels in reading and math. Pre-COVID-19, an estimated 53% of girls and boys in low- and middle-income countries could not read proficiently by age 10. Today, these figures are growing as countries in crisis are falling into the dark abyss of abandonment by the international community – unless it makes bold and morally courageous moves to show unprecedented solidarity and humanity.

The intensification of armed conflicts and climate-induced disasters, forced displacement and migration will deprive millions of children and youth from accessing their right to a quality education. There were 18.8 million climate-related displacements in 2017. The combined and related effects of climate change and conflict are now causing unprecedented rates of displacement. Before COVID-19, refugee children were already twice as likely to be out of school than non-refugee children. Only 31% of refugee children were enrolled at the secondary level, and just 27% of girls.

“Without resolute political commitment by global leaders, as well as additional resources for Education Cannot Wait, and its UN and civil society partners, millions of girls and boys may never return to school. Investing in the education of these vulnerable children and youth is an investment in peace, prosperity and resilience for generations to come – and a priority for the United Nations,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres told Education Cannot Wait in his interview for this newsletter.

Education Cannot Wait, and its UN and civil society partners are investing in their education and we do so together with host governments, local communities, strategic donors, UN and civil society partners and the private sector. In just four years since ECW’s creation, nearly 4 million children have received quality education in some of the most violent wars and most challenging refugee and forced displacement contexts, while another 10 million children benefited from our rapid response to provide remote learning as a result of COVID-19 in 2020.

However, with more funding many more crisis-affected children and youth can be reached. Our biggest challenge is the availability of funds to deliver on the ground through the well-established coordination structure of the United Nations that enables host-governments, local communities, UN agencies and civil society to efficiently mobilize and expand their operations. 

It is precisely this coordination structure and collaborative togetherness that have enabled Education Cannot Wait to operate with humanitarian speed in delivering quality, inclusive education across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus through the ‘whole of child-approach’, while giving due consideration to crucial crisis-related factors, such as mental-health and psycho-social services, protection, reaching 60% girls in ECW joint programming and paying special attention to children with disabilities and other marginalized children and youth in emergencies and protracted crisis.

By working through the United Nations’ established coordination structure on both the humanitarian and development sides and bringing these together with our strategic donors, Education Cannot Wait’s investments are implemented through coordination, collaboration and joint programming, wherein each actor contributes with their added value to collective outcomes. In doing so, the New Way of Working is put in action and contributes to real learning outcomes, while reinforcing the Grand Bargain, as local communities are empowered along with national government ministries.

A catalyst and facilitator, the Education Cannot Wait Global Fund offers an example of a rapidly growing and results-driven UN entity (hosted by UNICEF), that has reduced bureaucracy to strengthen accountability in support of multilateral and national efforts under the UN umbrella, where all dots are connected - coming together in a powerful commitment for those left furthest behind.

When realizing that we are ‘stronger together,’ we also become worthy of bringing hope and delivering immediate and sustainable results – or, as the UN Secretary-General António Gutteres concludes his interview with Education Cannot Wait: “We can move from an 'annus horribilis' to make 2021 an ‘annus possibilitatis’ – a year of possibility and hope.  We must make it happen - together.”
 
Yasmine Sherif
Director
Education Cannot Wait (ECW)
RESULTS & UPDATES

NEWS

ECW INTERVIEWS UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES

‘Without resolute political commitment by global leaders, as well as additional resources for Education Cannot Wait, and its UN and civil society partners, millions of girls and boys may never return to school. Investing in the education of these vulnerable children and youth is an investment in peace, prosperity and resilience for generations to come – and a priority for the United Nations.’ – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.
English | Spanish | French | Arabic | Portuguese | RussianChinese

ECW DIRECTOR LEADS HIGH-LEVEL MISSION TO BURKINA FASO

ECW Director Yasmine Sherif led a high-level mission to Burkina Faso to launch the multi-year resilience programme and meet with key stakeholders. Across Burkina Faso, more than 2.6 million children and adolescents are out of school. The new programming addresses these ongoing issues while bridging the humanitarian-development-peace nexus.
Learn More | Videos from the mission

ECW AND PARTNERS LAUNCH MULTI-YEAR EDUCATION PROGRAMME TO DELIVER EDUCATION TO OVER 800,000 CHILDREN AFFECTED BY CRISES IN BURKINA FASO

“The crisis in Burkina Faso and in the whole Central Sahel is among the fastest deteriorating in the world. We can either watch and do nothing, or we can actually act now by investing in children and adolescents to empower them to achieve their full potential and become positive change agents for their communities.” – ECW Director Yasmine Sherif.
English | French

ECW APPROVES US$2 MILLION FOR EDUCATION IN EMERGENCY RESPONSE FOR REFUGEE CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN EASTERN SUDAN

Responding to a surge in refugees fleeing violence in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, ECW funding will be used to build urgently needed learning centres and expand water and sanitation facilities in refugee settlements in eastern Sudan.
English | Arabic

ECW APPROVES US$1.5 MILLION GRANT IN LEBANON FOR UN RELIEF & WORKS AGENCY FOR PALESTINE REFUGEE CHILDREN AND YOUTH 

New funding provides over 32,000 Palestine refugee children and youth with access to quality, inclusive education and expands COVID-19 prevention measures.

English | Arabic | French

RECOVER AND REVITALIZE: INTERNATIONAL DAY OF EDUCATION

On the International Day of Education, ECW and partners put education and lifelong learning at the center of the COVID-19 recovery. “Instead of just developing some of the talents of some of the young people in some of the countries, we must develop all the talents of all young people in all countries.” - The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of the ECW High-Level Steering Group.

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INTERPRESS NEWS SERVICE OPINION PIECE: ‘THEIR HOPE FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE INSPIRES US ALL’ ~ YASMINE SHERIF ON INTERNATIONAL DAY OF EDUCATION

On the International Day of Education, ECW Director Yasmine Sherif appeals for sustained funding. “We are urgently appealing to public and private sector donors to help close the funding gap to provide inclusive, quality education to both internally displaced, refugee children and to vulnerable host communities.”
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LAUNCH OF THE GENEVA GLOBAL HUB FOR EDUCATION IN EMERGENCIES – A CATALYST FOR CHANGE: SWISS GOVERNMENT, GEC, IHEID, ICRC, INEE, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIVERSITY OF GENEVA AND ECW  

ECW, GEC, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, ICRC, INEE, Switzerland, UNICEF, the University of Geneva, UNESCO and UNHCR are delighted to announce the launch of the Geneva Global Hub for Education in Emergencies.
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INTEGRATING MENTAL HEALTH AND PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT IN COVID-19 EDUCATION RESPONSES

In this interview with Sarah Harrison – International Federation of the Red Cross, Co-Chair, Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Reference Group – explore the importance and value of psychosocial support in education in emergency and COVID-19 responses.

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ECW ADVOCACY MAKES GLOBAL HEADLINES TO ADVANCE SUPPORT FOR EDUCATION IN EMERGENCIES AND PROTRACTED CRISES

ECW and its partners continued to make global headlines in January, with substantial coverage on the International Day of Education, mission to Burkina Faso, and civil society campaigns in Ecuador and beyond with a potential reach of over 200 million readers in January.
The Telegraph | Knack | Xinhua | Andalou |  IPS | Expreso | Borgen | The National News Dubai | ReliefWeb  | El Comercio

STORIES FROM THE FIELD

INTER-PRESS NEWS SERVICE: UGANDA'S SCHOOL PLAN FOR REFUGEE CHILDREN SERVES AS GLOBAL TEMPLATE

During the coronavirus lockdown and subsequent school closures, close to 15 million girls and boys, including children living in refugee settlements across this East African nation, were affected. And while pupils in their final years of school, estimated at 1.2 million, returned last month, more than 13 million remain at home, with some still unable to access learning materials.
English | French

UNICEF AND ECW PROMOTE EDUCATIONAL INCLUSION IN ECUADOR

In coordination with the Ministry of Education, the programme has helped over 3,321 children and adolescents to enter the education system.
English | Spanish

THE FUTURE SCIENTISTS OF CHAD: UNICEF IN ECW EXPOSURE STORY

With funding from ECW, UNICEF is helping teachers improve science instruction for children impacted by conflict and crisis.
English | French | Share State PRM Tweet

YOUNG MOTHERS CONTINUE THEIR EDUCATION IN CHAD: JESUIT REFUGEE SERVICE WITH ECW SUPPORT

With funding from ECW, Jesuit Refugee Service is creating safe childcare spaces so young mothers and teachers can return to school.
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SOCIAL MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS

ENTRETIEN DE LA DIRECTRICE D’ÉDUCATION SANS DÉLAI AVEC LE PRÉSIDENT DU BURKINA FASO

Présidence du Faso
@presidencebf
@YasmineSherif1 a indiqué que les échanges avec @rochkaborepf ont porté sur l’impact de l’insécurité et de la violence sur les populations et sur l’éducation des enfants; elle a déclaré que sa structure va mobiliser ses partenaires pour venir en aide au #BurkinaFaso #Lwili
Share Tweet | Share Canada Ambassador to Burkina Faso Tweet

UN SECRETARY GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES PAYS TRIBUTE TO RESILEINCE OF STUDENTS AND EDUCATORS ON EDUCATION DAY

António Guterres
@antonioguterres
This #EducationDay, I pay tribute to the resilience of students, teachers and families faced with disruptions caused by #COVID19. As the world continues to battle the pandemic, education must be protected to avert a generational catastrophe.
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UK SPECIAL ENVOY FOR GIRLS EDUCATION HELEN GRANT HIGHLIGHTS THE POWER OF ECW INVESTMENTS

Helen Grant
@HelenGrantMP
This weekend’s reading for anyone interested in the power of learning starts with this striking account from @EduCannotWait on the impact of conflict on girls’ education #EducationCannotWait.
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UK MP MIKE WOOD HIGHLIGHTS VALUE OF ECW AT UK HOUSE OF COMMONS

Education Cannot Wait
@EduCannotWait
"I am proud that the UK set the example in replenishing funding for @EduCannotWait, to make sure the children in emergency zones - whether places of conflict or displaced by famine, disease, or climate change - have an education that can transform lives.” - @mikejwood, MP United Kingdom.
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DENMARK: DELIVERING ON SDG4 WITH UNICEF AND ECW

Denmark in UN NY
@Denmark_UN
The Covid-19 pandemic has been the biggest disruptor of education in world-history. Together with our partners @UNICEF and @EduCannotWait, Denmark is working to ensure that every child has equitable access to quality education. #InternationalDayofEducation2021
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NORWAY HIGHLIGHTS VALUE OF ECW INVESTMENTS IN LEBANON

Norway in Lebanon
@NorwayinLebanon
Every child has the right to education. Norway is the 3rd biggest donor to @EduCannotWait globally @UNRWA @UNICEFLebanon @NorwayMFA. Quoting tweet: “We must continue to work for, and support Palestine refugee children and youth in Lebanon. They have an inherent human right to protection and quality education.” - @YasmineSherif1. Learn more about ECW’s latest grant in #Lebanon: https://bit.ly/3pgYdXN @UNRWA @UNICEFLebanon
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NORWEGIAN MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT DAG INGE ULSTEIN: ‘EDUCATION CREATES A SEMBLANCE OF ORDER IN THE CHAOS’

Norway MFA
@NorwayMFA
"Education creates a semblance of order in the chaos. Schools provide learning, but also protection. This why Norway supports @EduCannotWait. Schooling is also a crucial step in rebuilding a country marred by war and violence," says Minister of Int. Development @dagiulstein
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US POPULATION, REFUGEES AND MIGRATION BUREAU HAS SUPPORTED ECW SINCE ITS INCEPTION: UN ‘AWAKE AT NIGHT’ PODCAST

Population, Refugees, and Migration Bureau
@StatePRM
ICYMI to episode 14 of @UN's 'Awake at Night' podcast ft. the Director of @EduCannotWait. The US has supported ECW since its inception to do our part to address the urgent education needs of millions of children in conflict & crisis situations.
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DUBAI CARES’ TARIQ AL GURG CALLS FOR INCREASED SUPPORT FOR ECW AT WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM IN DAVOS – THE NATIONAL NEWS

#WorldEconomicForum: @DubaiCares Chief says global community must act to safeguard children’s education, drawing attention to #ECW, which works to improve children’s learning & reposition it at centre of the humanitarian agenda: https://bit.ly/3pk1khL w/@TheNationalNews @wef
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MELISSA FLEMING, UN UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS: ‘DO SUPPORT EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT’

Melissa Fleming
@MelissaFleming
It tears me apart to meet displaced children in conflict & crisis zones who aren't in school. It gives me hope when I find them healing their trauma & nourishing their minds in a safe school environment. #EducationDay Do support!: @EduCannotWait
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WFP FEEDING CHILDREN IN YEMEN: THEIR #EDUCATIONCANNOTWAIT

@WFP
World Food Programme
Khawlah is one of the nearly 1 million children in #Yemen who go to school knowing that a healthy snack is waiting for them. @WFPYemen's school feeding programme keeps kids in school and provides them with the nutrition they need to learn & grow. #EducationCannotWait
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RIHANNA ADVOCATES FOR ECW WITH GLOBAL CITIZEN

Global Citizen Impact
@GlblCtznImpact
@rihanna believes access to education is a human right – and we couldn’t agree more. See for yourself why she’s advocating for @EduCannotWait this #InternationalDayofEducation. https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/education-cannot-wait-case-study/
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CONNECTING THE DOTS ACROSS THE UN SYSTEM WITH UNESCO AND GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR EDUCATION

Education Cannot Wait
@EduCannotWait
"We must connect dots to incl. more emphasis on girls’ education, mental health/psychosocial services, water & sanitation and climate crisis. Ensuring every child has the right to education is about common humanity.“ ~#ECW Director @YasmineSherif1. @AliceAlbright @SteGiannini @UN.
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UNITED NATIONS HIGHLIGHTS ECW INVESTMENTS IN CENTRAL SAHEL

United Nations
@UN
@EduCannotWait pledges $33.3 million in education resources for Burkina Faso, Mali & Niger in hopes of reaching 300,000+ children. More on how the funding will make a difference in the lives of young people living in crisis: http://bit.ly/3oiW9ya
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SAVE THE CHILDREN’S KEVIN WATKINS: “INSPIRING ESSAY FROM THE INSPIRING YASMINE SHERIF”

Kevin Watkins
@KevinAtSave
Inspiring essay from the inspiring @YasmineSherif1. They deserve no less in Sahel. Take a look at the impact of @EduCannotWait's investments in the Sahel in this inspiring essay from @YasmineSherif1. https://ecw.exposure.co/they-deserve-no-less-in-central-sahel
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BUILDING INNOVATIVE LEARNING SOLUTIONS WITH UNHCR

UNHCR Education
@UNHCR_Education
We are proud to work with key partners to support connected education and other innovative learning solutions, keeping refugee children learning during #COVID19 and beyond. #LeaveNoOneBehind
@VodafoneFdn @Microsoft @LEGOfoundation @LearnEQ @HP @EduCannotWait @Googleorg
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REACHING CRISIS-AFFECTED GIRLS AND BOYS IN SOMALIA WITH FENPS

FENPS
@FENPS04
With support of @EduCannotWait over 6,700 children (49% girls) benefited Covid-response facilities TLM materials and more at 22 schools particularly crisis affected and remote areas in Hirshabelle State of Somalia @adrasomalia @AdamValent @YasmineSherif1
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ECW EXPANDS CONNECTION WITH TECH LEADERS AT BETT FEST

Education Cannot Wait
@EduCannotWait
At #BettFest, @EduCannotWait's @madgethomas85 highlights the value of starting with the children and youth left furthest behind to ensure digital inclusion. Watch the full session: https://bigmarker.com/hyve/Main-Stage-Day-2-Digital-Inclusion?show_live_page=true. @Verizon
@MicrosoftEDU @AmazonEdu @gatesfoundation
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UNICEF, ECW AND PARTNERS HELP CHILDREN IN PALESTINE GET BACK TO SCHOOL

UNICEF Palestine
@UNICEFpalestine
Thanks to our partners’ @FinPalestine @JapanGov @eu_echo @UNOCHA @EduCannotWait @PolandMFA support, @UNICEFpalestine was able to ensure children in Palestine return #backtoSchool safely during #Covid_19 #BuildBackEducation.  
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ENSURING CONTINUED LEARNING IN NIGERIA WITH UNICEF NIGERIA

UNICEF Nigeria
@UNICEF_Nigeria
When 14 community classrooms were established at the Bakassi IDP camp in Maiduguri, Sadiya was among the first to enroll. The intervention, funded by @EduCannotWait, ensures that children can continue to learn despite school closures due to #COVID19.
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RESPONDING TO THE BEIRUT BLAST WITH UNESCO, EAA FOUNDATION & ECW

UNESCO BEIRUT
@UNESCOBEIRUT
Beirut Blast coupled with Covid-19 have led to great disruption of education for Aya Chammaa & her peers in Beirut. #UNESCO #LiBeirut & @MeheLebanon is working to ensure #learningneverstops with the support of @EAA_Foundation & @EduCannotWait @UNESCO @UNICBeirut @rochdi_najat
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THEIRWORLD HIGHLIGHTS GLOBAL EDUCATION IN EMERGENCY RESPONSE

Theirworld
@theirworld
Your weekly news roundup: Education aid for #BurkinaFaso - @EduCannotWait. Keep schools open pleads @UNICEF Chief. World leaders can ensure children return to school. Classrooms reopen in Greece. Education boost for girls in Chad.
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WASHING HANDS TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 WITH UNICEF MALI

UNICEF Mali
@unicefmali
“I fear the disease but thanks to measures taken at school like Hand washing, masks, I feel better" - Aïchata. Thanks to @noradno, @EduCannotWait, @UEauMali, @DanishMFA, UNICEF equipped 890 schools with hand washing sets and trained 450 school management committees on #COVID19.
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SAVE THE CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS UGANDA REFUGEE EDUCATION RESPONSE

Save the Children International
@save_children
The Ugandan government has shown global leadership in refugee policy and how we respond to refugee crises. Uganda's school plan for #RefugeeEducation could become a global template. #SaveOurEducation. Learn more: https://ecw.exposure.co/ugandas-school-plan-for-refugee-children-could-become-a-global-template. @EduCannotWait #EducationCannotWait
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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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