Armed Conflicts, Climate Change, Crime & Justice, Education, Education Cannot Wait. Future of Education is here, Humanitarian Emergencies

Keep Moving …

NEW YORK, Mar 20 2023 - Only forty-five days into our new Strategic Plan 2023-2026, Education Cannot Wait secured 55 percent of its total requirement for the coming four years, reaching $826 million at #HLFC2023. This is a significant milestone for education in emergencies and protracted crises, and ECW will continue to pursue fund-raising year-round in the coming four years. The goal is to reach the target of 20 million children and adolescents affected by armed conflicts, climate-induced disasters and forced displacement.

At the Education Cannot Wait High-Level Financing Conference, hosted by Switzerland and co-convened by Colombia, Germany, Niger, Norway and South Sudan, the education community from around the world came together and, inspired by the UN Secretary-General’s Transforming Education Summit 2022, provided tangible action towards results.

By embracing UN Reform and the New Way of Working, by breaking down silos and by supporting humanitarian-development coherence amidst crises, ECW’s stakeholders recognize and embrace ECW’s added value: the UN’s global fund designed specifically to move with efficiency and effectiveness to collectively deliver quality education in emergencies and protracted crises.

New donors, including Qatar, Italy, the Global Business Coalition for Education and Zürcher Kantonalbank, joined ECW with significant and important new commitments, bringing the total to 24 donors, including governments, foundations and private sector.

ECW’s partners across government, UN agencies, civil society, the private sector and more continue to go above and beyond the call of duty in supporting our global advocacy movement. At the HLFC, we saw these partners unite in key sessions on Spotlight on Afghanistan, A Transformative Agenda, A Proven Model Across the Nexus, Leading During Crisis, Climate Change, Armed Conflict, Better Financing, Support for Teachers, Advancing Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Girls, Championing Early Learning, Addressing Holistic Needs Through Education and more.

This is just the beginning. We need to stay ambitious and hungry, results-driven and passionate about the cause, because the grand total of children and adolescents in urgent need of a continued and inclusive quality education in crises amounts to 222 million. There is indeed scope for more donors, bigger contributions, and even deeper commitment to building a better world.

We cannot forget the girls of Afghanistan and the hundreds of millions of children and adolescents across sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America whose education is disrupted and denied due to conflicts and forced displacement. We cannot ignore the world’s forgotten crises as we build back together and work to create a more just, more equal world, as The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of the ECW High-Level Steering Group so passionately highlighted in his Opening Session remarks.

One of my favourite quotes is that of Martin Luther King, Jr., who said: “If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, crawl, but by all means keep moving!”

Education Cannot Wait is a global movement. We move for the 222 million children and adolescents left furthest behind, holding on to their dreams. For this very reason, and together, we must be unstoppable!

Yasmine Sherif is Director of Education Cannot Wait.

IPS UN Bureau


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