Today, a more than 250,000 strong petition lands at the first ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, calling on world leaders attending to commit vital funds to ensure children caught up in conflicts and natural disasters secure an education. The petition will be handed to world leaders by youth education activists from around the world attending the Summit.
One in four children of school-age live in countries affected by crisis. Of these children, 75 million have had their education disrupted or destroyed by emergencies and prolonged crises. Yet despite this less than 2% of all humanitarian aid goes to education.
The petitions are backed by a joint call for action supported by more than 60 leading global charities and campaigners including BRAC, War Child, Walk Free, Plan International, Muslim Aid and Theirworld, calling for support for the Education Cannot Wait Fund – a new global fund for education in emergencies to be launched at the Summit. The Fund aims to raise nearly $4 billion to each more than 13 million children in need of education in emergencies within 5 years, before reaching 75 million children by 2030.
Hannah Stoddart, War Child Director of Advocacy and Communications, said: “World leaders need to wake-up to the fact that children caught up in conflict or a natural disaster must not be left stranded without an education. Providing emergency support such as food, clothing and shelter is life-saving but an education gives children a future.”
Ben Hewitt, Director of Campaigns for A World at School, said: “Campaigners around the world are calling on their leaders to pledge much-needed money and support behind the new fund for education in emergencies. It’s time to turn the rhetoric into reality and get kids into a safe school now. Education cannot wait.”
During crises, children are particularly at risk of missing out on their education and schools provide a safe space for them to learn and be protected. Education gives children the building blocks to rebuild their lives and, eventually, their country. The World Humanitarian Summit an opportunity – with increased high-level political commitment to enable access to quality education for all children and young people.