Urgent Global Call to Save the 222 Million Dreams of Crisis Affected Children – Global Issues

Students in class at the Souza Gare school in the coastal region of Cameroon. The school is home to displaced children who fled violence in the Northwest and Southwest regions. Photo Credit: ECW/Daniel Belumu.
  • Joyce ChimbyNairobi)
  • Inter Press Service

According to new report United Nations Global Fund for Education in Emergencies and Protracted Crises, Education can’t wait (ECV).

“Worldwide, 222 million children are severely interrupted from their education. Their dreams of a future are being shattered by conflict, displacement and climate disasters, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

The study paints a disturbing picture of the academic life of crisis-affected children in makeshift refugee settlements, in shattered classroom walls, and in communities torn apart by war and natural disasters.

Of the 222 million crisis-affected children and adolescents in need of urgent educational assistance, “an estimated 78.8 million are out of school. About 120 million are in school but do not reach the minimum level of proficiency in math or reading. One in ten crisis-affected children attending primary or secondary school achieve professional standards.

In addition, 84 per cent of crisis-affected out-of-school children and adolescents are living in protracted crises. Of these, about two-thirds are in ten countries: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen. These countries are also targeted by ECW’s innovative multi-year investments.

The war in Ukraine is pushing even more children out of school, with the latest estimate of 5.7 million school-age children affected by the conflict. Behind these numbers, millions of vulnerable girls and boys around the world are waiting for global collective action.

The ECW study shows that the response to education in emergencies and protracted crises remains chronically underfunded, and that the funding gap appears to have widened since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to the urgent global education crisis, on July 21, 2022, ECW and strategic partners launched the #222MillionDreams resource mobilization campaign in Geneva.

“This is a global call to action: we are talking about 222 million dreams representing every 222 million children and adolescents experiencing extreme hardship and protracted crises. Their dreams are deeply conditioned by their experience of wars and forced displacement.

“This is our moment to empower them to make their dreams come true,” said Yasmine Sherif, ECW Director.

“As the world grapples with the devastating effects of armed conflict, COVID-19 and climate change, 222 million children and adolescents are experiencing this horrific ordeal. They dream of becoming their full potential, not a victim. Don’t let them down. Our responsibility is to empower them through quality education and help make their dreams come true.”

As such, the campaign is calling on donors, the private sector, philanthropic foundations and the wealthy to urgently mobilize more resources to increase ECW’s investments, which are already providing quality education to over 5 million children in over 40 crises. affected countries.

“In the face of these crises, the United Nations Training in Emergencies Fund, ECW, is supporting children in 40 countries. We need governments, businesses, foundations and individuals to support the vital work of ECW,” says Guterres.

“We need their ideas and innovation as we look forward to September’s Transform Education Summit. Help us make education accessible to every child, anywhere. Help us save 222 million dreams.”

Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of the ECW High Level Steering Group, says the financial resources to ensure every child and young person can receive a quality education are achievable.

“Now we need to take responsible action for the 222 million children and youth caught in emergencies and protracted crises. Governments, the private sector and foundations can and should use these resources. Only then can we give them the opportunity to reach their potential and realize their dreams,” he said.

The campaign emphasizes that it will be too late for children waiting for the end of wars or climate crises to be able to learn and develop. By acting now, children affected by the crisis are getting the tools they need to become agents of positive change through safe, inclusive and quality education.

“In times of crisis, children experience uncertainty about their future and face a complete disruption of their normal way of life. Going to school gives children protection, a sense of normalcy and hope, and is also a means of securing a longer-term future,” says Patricia Danzi, Director General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

“We know that after the destruction and closure of schools, many children will not continue their education. Switzerland aims to contribute to reducing the risk of generational loss by supporting education in emergencies. So we’re partnering with ECW.”

World leaders have committed to “provide inclusive and equitable quality education and advance lifelong learning opportunities for all” as part of the 2030 Agenda to achieve SDG 4. New estimates show that COVID-19 and other factors have reduced the gains in education made over two decades.

According to the UN, many least developed countries lack basic school infrastructure. Only 54% of schools have access to safe drinking water, 33% have reliable electricity and 40% have handwashing facilities.

In light of these needs, Guterres convenes “Transform Education Summitin September 2022. The summit aims to “mobilize political ambition, action, solutions and solidarity to transform education: take stock of efforts to reverse pandemic-related learning losses; reimagine education systems for today’s and tomorrow’s world and step up national and global efforts to achieve SDG 4.”

In response to the urgent need to meet the significant educational needs of vulnerable boys and girls trapped in emergencies and protracted crises, #222Million Dreams The campaign calls on people around the world to call on world leaders and the world’s leading companies to act now.

UN IPS bureau report

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© Inter Press Service (2022) — All rights reservedSource: Inter Press Service

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