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International Day of Education - Investing in Education, Investing in Children, Investing in the Future

Around the world, 222 million children and adolescents affected by the horrors of war, disaster and displacement are desperate to learn.

Education Cannot Wait Director Yasmine Sherif Issues Statement on International Human Rights Day

NEW YORK, USA, January 25, 2023 / -- On the International Day of Education, we join donors, UN agencies and civil society partners in calling on world leaders to deliver on the promises outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially our commitment to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all (SDG4).”

We must not forget the world’s most vulnerable children – those who have seen their parents murdered in horrifying attacks like Lucas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, those who have been pushed from their homes by climate disasters, hunger and drought like Mariam in Mali, those who dream of becoming doctors, lawyers and leaders of tomorrow like Zehab in Afghanistan.

There are 222 million crisis-impacted children and adolescents worldwide in need of urgent educational support. By investing in their education, we are investing in human beings who can and will change the course of humanity.

This year, we mark a key turning point. We are midway through our collective efforts to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals. While COVID-19, economic uncertainty, armed conflicts and protracted crises have derailed efforts, we work to deliver on these global commitments.

Getting there will not be easy, but it is possible. In seven short years, we must transform the way we fund and deliver education in emergencies and protracted crises.

Several new mechanisms and growing multilateral funds will unite us in our efforts to deliver on these goals, including Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd), the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and other key strategic global funds.

In collaboration with these global partners – UN agencies, civil society, governments and private sector – ECW’s new strategic plan is a powerful blueprint for real transformation. It seeks to prioritize holistic learning outcomes, transform global financing data, respond to climate change, place localization and community participation at the core of our work, advance commitments to gender equality and disability inclusion, and address forced displacement. Through action!

To deliver on SDG4, and support the achievement of all other Sustainable Development Goals, we must step up the scale, speed, depth and impact of our investments.

Next month in Geneva, world leaders will come together for the ECW High-Level Financing Conference (HLFC). Hosted by ECW and Switzerland – and co-convened by Colombia, Germany, Niger, Norway and South Sudan – the HLFC provides world leaders, businesses, foundations and high-net-worth individuals with the opportunity to deliver on our promise of education for all and support ECW’s goal of reaching 20 million crisis-impacted children and adolescents with the safety, power and opportunity of a quality education.

We urge public and private sector donors to invest in education, invest in children and youth, and invest in the future at ECW’s HLFC on 16-17 February. By doing so, we can help make #222MillionDreams come true for the 222 million crisis-affected girls and boys who urgently need education support in the world’s worst contexts.

Official Statement by Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises.

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