The Education Can’t Wait Foundation (“ECW”) issued a press statement, which is posted below.
As we celebrate International Education Day, world leaders must deliver on their promise to deliver quality education for all by 2030.
Education is our investment in peace where there is war, our investment in equality where there is injustice, our investment in prosperity where there is poverty.
Make no mistake, there is a global education crisis that threatens to undo decades of development gains, spark new conflicts and undermine economic and social progress around the world.
As UN Secretary-General António Guterres stressed at last year’s Education Transformation Summit: “If we want to change our world by 2030, as envisaged by the Sustainable Development Goals, then the international community must give this crisis [в области образования] the attention it deserves.”
When the United Nations Global Fund for Education in Emergencies and Protracted Crises, Education Can’t Wait, was launched in 2016, we estimated that 75 million children affected by the crisis were in need of educational support. Today, that number has tripled to 222 million.
Of the 222 million children whose right to education has been wrested from their hands as a result of increasing conflict, climate change and other protracted crises, 78 million are estimated to be out of school at all – more than the total population of France, Italy or the United Kingdom.
As we can see from the conflict in Ukraine, the problems of Venezuelan migration to Colombia and South America, the inexcusable denial of education for girls in Afghanistan, and the devastating climate change-driven drought in the Horn of Africa that has led to a severe hunger crisis for 22 million people, we live in interconnected world.
The problems of Africa, the Middle East, South America and other countries are the problems of the world that we share together. And against the backdrop of conflict, migration and climate change, governments like those in Colombia are struggling to provide the most basic living and educational conditions for children in hard-to-reach areas.
There is hope. Using a new way of working and delivering with humanitarian speed and depth, ECW and its strategic partners have reached 7 million children in just five years, with plans to reach 20 million more in the next four years.
On February 16 in Geneva, world leaders will convene for a high-level funding conference hosted by the Education Can’t Wait Foundation. Organized by this foundation and Switzerland in partnership with Colombia, Germany, the Niger Republic, Norway and South Sudan, the conference provides world leaders, companies, foundations and wealthy individuals with an opportunity to fulfill our promise to provide education for all. The goal is to raise $1.5 billion over the next four years.
As co-hosts of this landmark event, we call on the peoples of the world to invest in the promise of education. This is the best investment we could make towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. We have promises to keep.
Statement co-signed by: Swiss Federal Councilor Ignazio Cassis; Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, Svenja Schulze; the Minister of Education of the Republic of the Niger, Ibrahim Natatu; Anne Beate Twinnerheim, Minister for International Development of Norway; the Minister of General Education and Training of South Sudan, Awut Deng Akuil; the Minister of Education of Colombia, Alejandro Gaviria; Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of Great Britain, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and Chairman of the High Level Steering Group of the ECW Foundation.