Education Cannot Wait: UNICEF Launches New Fund To Address World Education Crises


The United Nation International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on Monday announced the launch of a new fund, dubbed ‘Education Cannot Wait’ fund, to better coordinate support for and drive investment in education for children and youth affected by humanitarian emergencies and protracted crises.

The “Education Cannot Wait” fund has a funding target of 3.85 billion dollars over five years and is aimed at bridging the gap between humanitarian interventions during crises and long-term development afterwards, through predictable funding.

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UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, who presented the new fund at the World Humanitarian Summit, a two-day conference that opened in Istanbul, Turkey, said the fund aims to reach more than 13.6 million children and youth living in crisis situations such as conflict, natural disasters and disease outbreaks, with quality education over the next five years, and 75 million children and youth in desperate need of education by 2030.

Education Cannot Wait
“Education Cannot Wait” Fund

Across the world education systems are being destroyed by violent armed conflict, natural disasters and health emergencies, robbing children of the skills they need to build safe, strong communities and economies when they reach adulthood.

On average less than 2 percent of humanitarian aid goes towards funding education. Moreover, education systems equipped to cope with protracted crises cannot be built on the foundations of short-term – and unpredictable – appeals. Education Cannot Wait, which has a funding target of $3.85 billion over five years, aims to bridge the gap between humanitarian interventions during crises and long-term development afterwards, through predictable funding.

Brown said:

“These young people are missing out on schooling and this is becoming a full-blown global crisis that will haunt the world for generations.”

U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Gayle Smith added:

“There is an urgent need to ensure that kids who are forced into refuge are not denied an education”

Education Cannot Wait has the potential to chart the path forward by developing the tools we need to deliver education and offers the promise of unlocking new sources of funding

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The UK is leading efforts to respond to this global challenge, helping to set up the No Lost Generation Initiative with UNICEF and others partners to educate Syrian refugee children. So far, Dubai Cares, the European Union, Netherlands, Norway, the UK Department for International Development, and the United States Government have all made financial contributions.