This blog details the contents of a new paper by the Education for All Global Monitoring Report on the barriers that conflict poses to getting all children and adolescents into school, and a new suggested target for financing education in humanitarian crises.
Our new paper, released today, one week before the Oslo Summit on Education for Development, shows that 34 million children and adolescents are out of school in war zones. The paper shows that $2.3 billion is required to place them in school – ten times the amount that education is receiving from humanitarian aid right now.
One of the core reasons conflict is taking such a heavy toll on education is lack of financing. In 2014, education received only two per cent of humanitarian aid.
The paper determines that even the suggested target of at least 4%, championed since 2011, is grossly insufficient. Had this target been met in 2013, it would have left 15.5 million children and youth without any humanitarian assistance in education. In 2013, 4% of humanitarian aid would have left over 4 million children and youth in Afghanistan, nearly 1.6 million children and youth in Syria, and almost 3 million in Sudan without humanitarian support.
A new target for directing funds to education in areas affected by conflict has been required for some time. Present targets are grossly insufficient and are diverting attention from the true needs of children and youth on the ground.
To address the needs of every child and adolescent in conflict areas, the GMR proposes a new target for financing education in emergencies.
After accounting for projected domestic spending, a minimum of US$38 per child and US$113 per adolescent is needed to ensure all children and adolescents in conflict-affected countries have a chance to attend school. This equates to a total funding gap of US$2.3 billion; ten times what was given in humanitarian aid to education in 2014.
Such a target is necessary because the financing of education in conflict is not fair. Media attention unfairly prioritizes some countries in conflict over others: more than half of available humanitarian aid to education was allocated to just 4% of the 342 appeals made between 2000 and 2014.
A fairer assessment of how many, and to what extent, children and youth require support in crises is urgently required. An appeal in Yemen calls for three dollars per child. Another in the Central African Republic calls for $235 in similar circumstances. Such differences in appeals for humanitarian aid in education are unjust.
In addition, many appeals do not cover all those in need. In 2013, 21 million people in conflict-affected zones were identified as requiring education support. Just eight million were included in appeals. Of those, just three million actually received assistance once funding was distributed, thereby leaving 18 million without any help at all.
The paper proposes a new, evidence-based finance target, and makes recommendations for tightening the current aid structure for education in crises:
- There should be a consistent and objective needs assessment to better capture the requirements of children and adolescents in conflict.
- There should be better connections between humanitarian aid and development financing: The World Humanitarian Summit in July 2016 together with a High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing to be formed later in 2015 represent opportunities to make the architecture of humanitarian aid more relevant and realistic.
- The $2.3 billion funding gap for education in conflict urgently needs to be filled. Responsibility for filling this gap must not solely lie with humanitarian actors; development aid donors also need to play their part to ensure that all those in need are being reached.
- Any new global emergency education fund should ensure that resources for education in situations of crises are additional, flexible and predictable. Funding must be aligned to need. It should work closely with the Global Partnership for Education and Global Education Clusters.