Funding for education in emergencies in the wake of COVID-19: time to reinvest to meet growing needs – Global
Funding for education in emergencies dries up as a result of COVID-19
Time to reinvest to meet growing educational needs
Geneva, 16 June 2022 – Funding for education in emergencies (EiE) is falling behind. It falls far short of meeting the needs of the millions of crisis-affected school-aged children and young people around the world who need educational support. This is the conclusion of a new report released today by the Geneva Global Hub for EiE at an event organized by the Permanent Missions of Switzerland and Niger to the UN in Geneva. The report provides, for the first time, a comprehensive assessment of the multiple sources of funding for EiE, highlighting key trends and gaps. In 2021, humanitarian funding for EiE reached an all-time high of $807 million. But, with needs growing even faster due to conflict, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, this was insufficient to provide millions of children with a safe, inclusive and quality education. Among UN-led humanitarian appeals, the education sector was only 22% funded in 2021, half of what it was in 2018. Despite increased awareness of the problem, the ‘EiE continues to be an underappreciated and underfunded part of humanitarian responses. “As a global community, we are committed to achieving SDG4 guaranteeing the right to education for all children and young people. Yet the reality is that we are currently falling behind in achieving this goal,” said Patricia Danzi, Director General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). “In this context, I cannot stress enough the importance of this new report on the current state of global funding for education in emergencies. The flagship report offers avenues for closing the significant funding gap for EiE. »
Tracking of EiE funding needs to be improved to better inform decisions on where limited resources are best spent, with the study recommending the creation of a public platform linking all existing EiE data sources.
A more joint approach between humanitarian funding and development cooperation for EiE is also needed. Official development assistance for education in countries in crisis reached $5.7 billion in 2020, more than eight times the level of humanitarian aid. This can be further harnessed to support better learning outcomes for children, but this will only happen with greater coordination between all education actors to ensure that the limited funding available for EiE is allocated where it is most needed.
“Too often, education funding is directed towards high-profile crises that have received wide media coverage or are geopolitically significant to donors,” said report author Damian Lilly. “More needs to be done to address inequalities and the unpredictability of education funding, so that all children have access to the education they deserve.
With the UN hosting an Education Transformation Summit (TES) in September, there needs to be stronger political commitment to EiE. And these key recommendations for EiE funding will be important in the run-up to the upcoming Education Cannot Wait (ECW) high-level funding conference, which ECW Director Yasmine Sherif announced. that it will take place in February 2023. Donors will be asked to make specific commitments. to fund EiE, and the recommendations of this report should be reflected in these commitments.
“We call on world leaders, donors, the private sector and philanthropic foundations to step in with today’s absolute and fierce urgency to respond to this crisis of epic proportions,” Sherif said. “Our investment in education today – for girls and boys caught in protracted crises and emergencies – is our investment in the dreams and hopes of each of these children, and in a more peaceful, more prosperous world. and more humane tomorrow. Without substantial, predictable and flexible additional funding to immediately scale up support for safe, continuous and inclusive quality education for girls and boys caught in the most challenging crisis contexts, we will not achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG) and all other SDGs.
It is clear that the need for EiE funding is growing and the gap between this need and available resources is widening. New EiE funding commitments are key to meeting this challenge, as are innovative and collaborative solutions that make better use of existing support.