European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

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Education in emergencies

North Kivu by NRC Christian Jensen
A class being taught at Lufunda Primary School in Mpati, North Kivu. Credits: NRC/Christian Jepsen.

Why is this important?

Education is crucial for both the protection and healthy development of girls and boys affected by crises. It can rebuild their lives; restore their sense of normality and safety, and provide them with important life skills. It helps children to be self-sufficient, to be heard, and to have more influence on issues that affect them. It is also one of the best tools to invest in their long-term future, and in the peace, stability and economic growth of their countries.

Education in emergencies actions can help prevent, reduce, mitigate and respond to emergency-related academic, financial, social, institutional, physical and infrastructural barriers to children's education, while ensuring the provision of safe, inclusive and quality education.

In 2017, the EU dedicates 6% of its annual humanitarian aid budget to education in emergencies, one of the most underfunded sectors of humanitarian aid. In 2018, this amount will increase to 8%.

Nearly 4.7 million girls and boys in 52 countries around the world have benefited from EU funding between 2012 and 2017.

Education in Emergencies factograph

How are we helping?

The total amount spent on education in emergencies reached over €201 million between 2012 and 2017, including €34 million through the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey and €23.5 million through the Emergency Support Instrument. This goes hand in hand with the Commission earmarking an increasing percentage of its annual EU humanitarian budget to education in emergencies, as per the commitment by Commissioner Stylianides made at the Oslo Summit on Education for Development and again at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit. Having met a 4% target in 2016 and on track to meet 6% in 2017, for 2018 this figure will be 8%.

The Commission's funding is delivered through its humanitarian implementing partners, notably non-governmental organisations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, and International Organisations carrying out humanitarian projects. By the end of 2017, nearly 4.7 million boys and girls in 52 countries around the world will have benefitted from these projects.

The EU's actions aim to help children affected by humanitarian crises to have access to and learn in safe, quality and accredited primary and secondary education; to learn life-saving and life-sustaining skills and gain increased personal resilience. The actions also ensure that children are protected, and support the strengthening of education services through preparedness, response and recovery interventions. Each action is tailored to take into account the different needs of children based on their age, gender and other specific circumstances.

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