Education Cannot Wait has announced a new US$4 million First Emergency Response grant in Afghanistan.
The new investment responds to the fluid and complex crisis affecting Afghanistan, a sharp increase in internal displacement, and the long-term impacts that decades of conflict have had on Afghanistan’s children and adolescents.
Delivered in coordination with Afghanistan’s Education in Emergencies Working Group, the ECW grant will provide 38,000 internally displaced children and adolescents – with a focus on girls’ education (20,900 girls) – with access to quality, flexible learning opportunities and psychosocial support.
Afghanistan’s Education in Emergencies Working Group estimates that approximately 400,000 school-aged children in Afghanistan have been forcibly displaced since January 2021. Across the country more than 3.7 million girls and boys are out of school, and just 37 per cent of teenage girls can read and write, compared to 66 per cent for adolescent boys.
Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, said: “Every girl and boy in Afghanistan deserves to realize their inherent human right to a quality education. The rights of girls and adolescent girls are especially important, as well as that of children with disabilities given the widespread challenges and suffering of both groups.”
Yasmine added: “Education Cannot Wait and our partners are responding with speed to provide safe and inclusive educational opportunities for an entire generation of Afghan children and youth that risk being left behind within a complex humanitarian crisis. This represents our investment in peace, our investment in girls’ education, and our investment in human dignity and human rights.”
The ECW investment builds on the impact of the Fund’s Multi-Year Resilience Programme in Afghanistan, which had reached close to 120,000 children (58% of whom were girls) by 2020, by expanding access to community-based education for children, promoting continuity in learning, supporting teacher training, improving monitoring systems, and establishing child protection and safeguarding measures.
The First Emergency Response grant provides learning and psychosocial support opportunities for displaced and at-risk girls and boys – including adolescents – through the provision of a variety of flexible and alternative learning programmes offered in community-based temporary learning spaces.
Other activities include the provision of teaching and learning materials; teacher trainings on pedagogy, disability inclusion, and psychosocial support; rehabilitation of gender-sensitive and disability-accessible water and sanitation facilities; light repairs to community learning structures damaged during conflict; and provision of recreational and psychosocial support kits.