President Pittella meets EU Commissioner Stylianides. EU leaders must commit themselves to secure more funds devoted to education in humanitarian emergencies, say S&Ds
Ahead of the EU Summit in Brussels, S&D Group president Gianni Pittella met EU Commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, Christos Stylianides, to reiterate his call for greater investment in education for children in emergencies as the major goal of the S&D’s initiative, EDUCA. The meeting was held together with S&D vice-presidents Enrique Guerrero Salom and Victor Boştinaru; Linda McAvan, chair of the EP development committee and Silvia Costa, chair of the EP culture committee.
EU Commissioner Stylianides said:
''Education is the foundation for everything else. It protects children from radicalisation; from forced recruitment; from forced marriages and from entering dangerous migration routes. This is why the European Commission will quadruple its education allocation from 1% to 4% of the EU's humanitarian budget in 2016. I pay special tribute to the European Parliament and the S&D Group for securing additional funds for this purpose.''
Commenting on the meeting, Gianni Pittella, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Victor Boştinaru, Linda McAvan and Silvia Costa said:
"We call on EU member states to include in the upcoming April Council conclusions a call to increase international investment from 2% to 4% in education for children in emergencies from humanitarian budgets. The EU has committed to invest 4% of the EU humanitarian budget in 2016 on education for children in emergencies. This is a first step but more needs to be done and it is for the international community to follow the lead by the Europeans.
"This would pave the way for greater commitment by the international community meeting for the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May.
"Today 61 million children of primary school age are out of school. More than half of them live in poor countries afflicted by conflicts. We must increase overall spending in humanitarian aid specifically for education to give these generations hope and perspective."
The call for action is part of the “EDUCA” initiative launched by the S&D Group in 2015, which calls for an increase in the education allocation of humanitarian aid spending at European and international level from 2% to 4% (#Go4Four).