Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, issued its new “We Have Promises to Keep: Annual Results Report” today indicating that ECW investments with strategic partners have reached close to 7 million children and adolescents – 48.4% of whom are girls – since the Fund became operational in 2017.
Through its strategic partnerships, ECW reached 3.7 million children across 32 crisis-impacted countries in 2021 alone. An additional 11.8 million children were reached through the Fund’s COVID-19 interventions that same year, bringing the total number supported through the COVID-19 interventions to 31.2 million.
ECW mobilized a record-breaking US$388.6 million in 2021, and total contributions to the Fund now top US$1.1 billion.
“There is no dream more powerful than that of an education. We must keep our promise to provide inclusive, equitable quality education for all,” said The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of the ECW High-Level Steering Group.
The results report comes on the back of shocking new estimates indicating that 222 million school-aged children and adolescents caught in crises globally are in urgent need of educational support. These include 78.2 million who are out of school and 119.6 million who are in school but not achieving minimum competencies in mathematics and reading.
According to the report, conflict, forced displacement, climate-induced disasters and the compounding effect of the COVID-19 pandemic fueled increased education in emergencies needs with funding appeals reaching US$2.9 billion in 2021, compared with US$1.4 billion in 2020. While 2021 saw a record-high US$645 million in education appeal funding – the overall funding gap spiked by 17%, from 60% in 2020 to 77% in 2021.
ECW’s High-Level Financing Conference to be held in Geneva in February 2023 and 222 Million Dreams campaign calls on government donors, the private sector, foundations and high-net-worth individuals to turn commitments into action by making substantive funding contributions to ECW.
“ECW’s solid results in our first five years of operation are proof that we can empower crises-affected girls and boys with the hope, protection and opportunity of quality education,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait.
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