European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

Service tools

Education in emergencies

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

Why is this important?

According to UNICEF, 75 million children are out of school in the world today due to emergencies. Among refugees, 50% of primary school-age children and 77% of secondary school-age adolescents are not enrolled. Girls living in conflict-affected countries are 2.5 times more likely to be out of school than boys.

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 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. Yet it is one of the most underfunded areas of humanitarian aid: less than 3% of global humanitarian funding is allocated to education.

Education in Emergencies factograph

How are we helping?

The total amount spent on education in emergencies reached over €201.5 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.

The share of the European Commission’s humanitarian aid budget allocated to education in emergencies significantly increased over the past few years: from 1% in 2015 to 6% in 2017 and 8% in 2018. As of 2019, the EU will aim to dedicate 10% of its humanitarian assistance to education in emergencies.

Over 5.5 million girls and boys in 52 countries around the world have benefited from EU-funded educational projects between 2012 and 2018.

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.

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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