NEW YORK, May 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The world’s leading countries, companies and philanthropists will join forces to create a ‘major breakthrough’ to provide education for millions of children displaced by conflicts and natural disasters.
The new ‘Education Cannot Wait’ fund will be launched next week at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.
A historic, global-first hailed a ‘game changer,’ the fund targets the needs of 75 million children and youth impacted by crisis, disaster and conflict.
Becoming a “full-blown global crisis” that will haunt the world for generations, 20 million school-age child refugees or displaced persons are denied an education.
The goal is to recruit 100 major foundations, businesses, governments and international agencies as contributors to the fund.
Education Cannot Wait will fill the gap where education falls through the cracks between humanitarian aid, which focuses on food and shelter, and development aid, which is by definition focused on the long-term.
UN OCHA figures show education garnering less than 2% of emergency funding in annual appeals, insufficient as the average refugee is out-of-country for more than a decade.
The new fund has unique features making it the first comprehensive public private partnership for humanitarian aid: (1) offering up to five years of educational emergency financing; (2) establishing dedicated windows for private sector, foundation and philanthropic contributions; (3) and harnessing new innovations and technology to deliver education to refugee children.
Announcing the fund, Gordon Brown, UN Education Envoy and International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity Chair, said:
“When we ask ourselves what breaks once-thriving young children, it is not just the Mediterranean wave that submerges the life vest, nor the food convoy that does not make it to Madaya in Syria. It is also the absence of hope – the soul-crushing certainty that there is nothing ahead to plan or prepare for, not even a place in school.”
Mr. Brown will unveil support in Istanbul alongside UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other world leaders.
Financing Commissioner Jakaya Kikwete, former President of Tanzania said, “In times of conflict and disaster, we must prioritize education. We can no longer be complacent with business as usual. The new education in emergencies fund will bridge the humanitarian-development divide to provide life-saving education.”
The Commission is co-convened by Prime Minister Solberg (Norway), Presidents Bachelet (Chile), Widodo (Indonesia), Mutharika (Malawi) and UNESCO Director-General Bokova.