The European Union is going to increase its spending to support delivery of education in emergencies and crisis situations. The Commission is moving forward with a new policy framework to increase humanitarian funding for education in crises to 10% of the overall humanitarian aid budget starting in 2019. One of the main objectives of the policy is to get children caught in humanitarian crises back to school within 3 months. Other priorities include providing quality education, improving access to learning opportunities, ensuring that education is safe from attacks, such as by Islamist extremists, and introduction of rapid and innovative education responses.
The new policy will provide support of children whose access to education has been disrupted due to conflicts, violence, disasters, forced displacement and climate change. The EU’s largest humanitarian program for education in emergencies worth 84 million EUR that is currently under way in Turkey targets 290,000 refugee children. The EU’s ‘Education in Emergencies’ programs have reached 4,700,000 children in 52 countries around the world since 2012. The total budget between 2012 and 2017 was more than 200 million EUR.
According to UNICEF, there are 75 million children who are unable to go to school today due to emergencies. The situation is especially critical among refugees – 50% of primary school children and 77% secondary school-age adolescents are not enrolled. Moreover, girls living in conflict-affected countries are 2.5 more likely to be out of school than boys. Education is key to the protection and healthy development of girls and boys affected by crises. It can rebuild their lives, restore sense of safety and normality and teach them important life skills. It is also one of the best tools to invest in the future, peace, stability and economic growth in their countries. Yet, education is one of the most under-funded areas of humanitarian aid: less than 3% of global humanitarian funding is allocated to learning.