The undersigned organizations welcome the U.S. Government’s continued commitment to students and teachers affected by crisis and conflict by pledging an additional $43 million to Education Cannot Wait (ECW) – the UN’s global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises – at today’s High-Level Financing Conference (HLFC) in Geneva, Switzerland.
Co-convened by the governments of Colombia, Germany, Niger, Norway, South Sudan, and Switzerland, the HLFC generated more than $826 million in funding from 18 donors – including the U.S. – to support ECW’s 2023-2026 Strategic Plan. Currently meeting the educational needs of nearly 7 million children and adolescents, this crucial support will help ECW address the gap in access to education for the 222 million children affected by the crisis.
Although the U.S. pledge at the HLFC is a promising start, we urge the U.S. Government to provide at least $158 million over four years. As USAID Administrator Samantha Power noted in her recorded remarks, “Crises like war, climate change, and food insecurity are keeping children around the world out of school, from Afghanistan, to Mali, to South Sudan. But ECW brings hope for a better future for millions.” We are pleased that the U.S. continues to champion these important programs and support the work of ECW across the globe.
As noted by USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator LeAnna Marr at an International Day of Education event hosted at Georgetown University prior to the HLFC, “Education Cannot Wait is critical. They are able to go in and respond immediately, often in areas where USAID does not have programming.” At the International Day of Education event, Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) said, “I have been working closely with Ranking Member Barbara Lee to ensure important basic education programs like Education Cannot Wait are supported….I will continue to work to ensure the House Appropriations Committee provides robust support for global basic education.”
The U.S. Government has been central to the success of ECW, as its fourth largest donor currently, and its support will help ECW meet its 2023-2026 Strategic Plan goals. Today’s pledge also delivers an important message that the U.S. will continue its commitment to finance quality, inclusive, and transformative education for children and adolescents living in crisis and conflict settings around the world.
As we await President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget request, we urge his Administration to build on today’s announcement by providing robust funding for these important programs in his request. We also look forward to working with Congress to prioritize bipartisan support for programs that meet the needs of the world’s children – particularly those affected by crisis and conflict – in the Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bill.
We urge immediate action to:
- Increase funding for these important programs, including the bilateral account and the multilateral accounts in Fiscal Year 2024.
- Support all levels of access to education in crisis and conflict settings including early childhood development, pre-primary, foundational learning, primary, secondary, and post-secondary education and for traditionally marginalized groups including girls, children and youth with disabilities, and minority groups.
- Integrate education in all U.S. Government humanitarian response efforts – both bilateral and multilateral – and continue to promote coordination across all sectors and branches of the U.S. Government.
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA