The United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, Education Cannot Wait (ECW), released a shocking new report today that indicates the number of crisis-impacted school-aged children requiring educational support has grown from an estimated 75 million in 2016 to 222 million today.
Of the 222 million crisis-affected children and adolescents in need of urgent support, the study indicates that as many as 78.2 million are out of school, and close to 120 million are in school, but not achieving minimum proficiency in math or reading. In fact, just one in ten crisis-impacted children attending primary or secondary education are actually achieving these proficiency standards.
“We need governments, businesses, foundations and individuals to support the vital work of Education Cannot Wait. Help us place education within reach of every child, everywhere. Help us keep 222 million dreams alive,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
The analysis indicates that 84% of the out-of-school crisis-impacted children are living in areas with protracted crises. The vast majority of these are in countries specifically targeted through ECW’s ground-breaking multi-year investments, including Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen.
To respond to this pressing global education crisis, ECW and strategic partners launched the #222MillionDreams resource mobilization campaign in Geneva today. The campaign calls on donors, the private sector, philanthropic foundations and high-net-worth individuals to urgently mobilize more resources to scale up ECW’s investments, which are already delivering quality education to over 5 million children across more than 40 crisis-affected countries.
“The financial resources to ensure that every child and young person can receive a quality education exist in the world. Governments, private sector and foundations can and must unlock these resources,” said The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of ECW’s High-Level Steering Group.
The campaign leads up to the Education Cannot Wait High-Level Financing Conference ¬taking place 16-17 February 2023 in Geneva.
“This is a global call to action. While the world struggles with the devastating impacts of armed conflicts, COVID-19 and climate change, 222 million children live through these horrific experiences. It is our duty to empower them through education and help make their dreams come true,” said ECW Director Yasmine Sherif.