• The world is facing an increasing number of conflicts, natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies. Among those affected, children are the most vulnerable.

    A whole generation of children – especially girls and young women – face a bleak future without education.

    SUCCESS!  Since launching our campaign in 2015, we’ve already made a big impact.

    After our #GoFor4 campaign, the EU agreed to dedicate 4% of its humanitarian aid budget to funding education for children caught up in conflicts, rising to 6% for 2017.  That means the total amount the EU has allocated to education in emergencies is now over €92 million and over 4 million children have been helped to get the skills they need to build new lives and escape poverty and the spiral of conflict.

    Pressure from the S&Ds has helped put education in emergencies in the spotlight and it is now being taken seriously at an international level, with more money and better co-ordination beginning to make a difference.  We need to keep up the pace and help ensure more children get a future.

    Education is key

    Education plays a key role in preventing man-made humanitarian crises by avoiding conflicts and preventing a vicious circle of violence in post-conflict situations.

    Education in humanitarian emergencies is crucial to address key issues on the European and global political agenda, including migration and security.

    Yet, less than 2% of global humanitarian aid is allocated to education – despite the fact that in crisis situations the communities affected usually see their children’s education as a key priority, right after basic subsistence needs. Substantial efforts and sacrifices are often made by communities to ensure their education can continue.

    The EU and the international community should listen and respond to this clear need by focusing on and investing in access to education for children affected by humanitarian crises.

    Our call for action is outlined in the sections below. You can also read the print version here.

    Our call for Action

    For us in the S&D Group, education should be a key part of the response to humanitarian emergencies.

    Therefore, we join the global education community in calling for international donors to commit to allocating 4% of humanitarian aid to education. If funding for education in emergencies received 4% of this spending, about 7 million children could benefit from emergency education programmes.

    At the same time, this would create a much-needed stronger link between humanitarian aid and development co-operation policies.

    The EU has taken the first step on this path by earmarking 6% of its humanitarian aid for education.

    Increasing access to education leads to better economic prospects, improved health and makes us all better citizens whilst having a profound impact on society as whole.

    Doubling the percentage of young people with secondary education from 30% to 60% has the potential to halve the risk of conflict. A good-quality education may not be enough to counter extremism, but could play a critical role in helping young people resist recruitment into extremist causes.

    Education can promote tolerance as well as global citizenship skills. It is key for peaceful and inclusive societies.

    The Numbers

    Education remains the least-funded humanitarian sector globally, receiving less than 2% of overall humanitarian funding.


    Total global spending

    on humanitarian aid in 2014 amounted to US$24.5 billion but under US$500 million was committed to education.


    12% of people

    could be lifted out of poverty if all students in poor countries had basic reading skills.


    By the end of 2016

    the EU institutions had allocated €92 million to education in emergencies.


    75 million

    children and adolescents in conflict-affected countries are out of school.


    Gender inequalities

    are exacerbated by conflicts. Girls are almost 2.5 times more likely to be out of school if they live in conflict-affected countries.


    Young women

    in conflict areas are 90% more likely to be out of secondary school than their male counterparts elsewhere.


    226+ million

    children do not attend secondary school.


    Educated mothers

    have children who are less likely to be undersized or malnourished. In fact, each additional year of maternal education helps reduce the child mortality rate by 2%.


    Educated girls and women

    are less vulnerable to HIV infection, human trafficking and other forms of exploitation. An education can help reduce the spread of infectious diseases.


    Conflict-affected children

    are more than twice as likely to be out of school compared with those in countries not affected by conflict.


    Education empowers

    women to make healthy decisions about their lives – such as on marriage and planning a family. For example, women in Mali with a secondary-level education or higher have an average of three children, while those with no education have an average of seven.


    One extra school year

    can increase a woman’s earnings by 10% to 20%.


    US$219 per child

    on average is required to achieve quality primary education and US$353 per child to continue to lower-secondary education.


    4 million

    new classrooms are needed in the world's poorest countries to accommodate those who are not in school.


    2 million

    more teachers are needed.


    Humanitarian Aid

    amounted to only 36% of education funding requests in 2014 compared to 60% for other sectors.


    A US$38 funding gap

    exists per child and a US$113 funding gap per adolescent for education in conflict areas.


    1/3 of aid appeals

    allocate no humanitarian funding to education.



    UNESCO, United Nations, European Commission, Save the Children, Unicef, OECD, Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation, Overseas Development Institute, The World Bank

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