The Government of Finland and Verizon announced new contributions to Education Cannot Wait, of €3 million and US$1 million respectively.
The new funding will support efforts to provide crisis-affected children and youth – already impacted by armed conflicts, forced displacement, natural disasters and protracted crises and now doubly hit by COVID-19 – with the safety, hope and opportunity of an education. This crucial funding expands ECW’s education in emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic and supports its ongoing efforts to achieve universal and equitable education by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
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Director of Education Cannot Wait, Yasmine Sherif said, “This continued and growing support from Canada, Finland, the United States and Verizon is profoundly appreciated and is, we hope, recognition that ECW is delivering results and making a real difference for children and youth left furthest behind. The ECW model seems to work where it is most needed and we call on public and private sector donors – and people everywhere – to join our movement and invest in education for children and young people in countries of crisis.”
Yasmine Sherif also said, “This is their hope, their potential and their power to build back better. We need US$310 million in immediate support for Education Cannot Wait’s responses in countries of conflict, forced displacement and natural disasters. This funding is critical for both the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises. Together with Global Citizen, government donors, the private sector and UN and civil society partners, we are united in leaving no child behind as we build back better from this pandemic, leveraging the power of education to achieve SDG4.”
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Sheriff also said, “The fact that we are receiving support from Global Citizens around the world and from new and existing donors, further inspires our global movement to protect girls and boys from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and provide them with a brighter future through education. For many crisis-affected children and youth, education is more than just learning; it is often lifesaving. Let us unite for these children and for humanity’s future. We are grateful to all Global Citizens calling for support to Education Cannot Wait and to our strategic donors, UN and civil society partners who support the work we do every day.”
With the commitments made at the Global Citizen events, a total of over US$10 million in funding to Education Cannot Wait (ECW) was announced this week alone. Just a few days earlier, both the Government of Canada announced CAD$5.5 million and the United States announced US$2.3 million in increased support to ECW, the global fund for education in emergencies.
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One of the world’s largest companies, US-based telecommunication provider Verizon, also committed US$1 million to Education Cannot Wait during the event, joining other private sector partners increasingly concerned with the need for education in emergencies. “One of the areas most transformed by COVID-19 is education. That’s why during this pandemic, Verizon has extended our long-term commitment to students and teachers. Today, we continue our support for education by supporting Education Cannot Wait,” said Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO, Verizon.
In addition to these announcements, earlier this week, the Government of Canada announced an additional CAD$5.5 million (approximately US$4 million) contribution to ECW to address the urgent educational needs of refugees and refugee-hosting communities, and adolescent girls in secondary school, including support to distance learning and teacher training. This contribution brings Canada’s overall support to ECW to over US$56 million. The United States also pledged US $2.3 million in additional funding to ECW, expanding its pledges and contributions to over US$60 million to date. The funding will be dedicated to scale-up the education in emergency response in Burkina Faso and will provide 43,390 children (including 26,034 girls) with formal and non-formal education in a safe, inclusive and quality environment.
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ECW’s education in emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic focuses on ensuring continuous access to education, including distance, online and radio learning; information campaigns, risk communications and community engagement in local languages, including psychosocial and mental health support; and, water and sanitation facility upgrades in schools and learning centers as a first line of defense. ECW has already reached over 3.4 million crisis-affected children and youth, and mobilized more than US$650 million since its inception just over three years ago.
Global Citizens shared over 1,000 messages with world leaders through a campaign to support education during COVID-19, including through Education Cannot Wait.
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