Assistance to be rolled out in Ukraine by UNESCO and UNICEF
KYIV/WASHINGTON D.C., April 27, 2023 – As the war continues in Ukraine, severely disrupting education, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), Google, Microsoft Corporation and UNESCO will provide over US$51 million for distance learning and psychosocial support for children in conflict-affected areas.
The program will be rolled out by UNESCO and UNICEF in Ukraine in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science and will provide children and teachers with equipment and tools for distance learning, psychosocial support, teacher training and education sector planning.
Through the GPE Multiplier, the Global Partnership for Education has matched a total of over $25 million in cash and in-kind support from Microsoft, Google and UNESCO, totaling more than $51 million in education assistance for Ukraine. The GPE Multiplier is an innovative financing instrument designed to leverage new sources of funding for education programs aligned to national priorities.
In addition to cash donations from both private sector partners and UNESCO, Microsoft’s support includes no-cost access to its software for students and teachers for on- and offline use and teacher training on software programs. Google’s contribution includes a donation of 50,000 Chromebooks. This is the first time that private sector partners have provided the necessary co-financing for a country to unlock funding from GPE’s multiplier through a combination of cash and in-kind donations.
These contributions will help advance Ukraine’s existing efforts to ensure the continuity of teaching and learning and digitalize its education system, bridging emergency response and longer-term assistance to help the sector to better withstand the impact of the conflict.
The program implemented by UNESCO will include teacher professional development, mental health and psychosocial support, education planning and management, as well as the procurement and distribution of devices to conflict-affected primary and secondary school-aged learners, including children who have been internally displaced. 6,800 children and more than 60,000 education actors, such as government officials, principals, school psychologists, teachers, parents and caregivers, will benefit from this program.
The program implemented by UNICEF will focus on delivering devices and connectivity, expanding digital learning centers, providing catch-up education and access to education materials and will benefit an estimated 350,000 children in southern and eastern Ukraine where the fighting has been the most intense. Finland is the coordinating agent for GPE across Ukraine.
- Google: “Since the early days of the invasion, we've been focused on helping those affected by this devastating and illegal war. We've donated to humanitarian relief efforts and have sought to use our products to help people affected by the war - such as providing Chromebooks and training to Ukrainian teachers so that they can keep teaching remotely. We've also prioritized protecting cybersecurity, preventing disinformation, elevating authoritative information and empowering crisis responders in Ukraine,” said Matt Brittin, President, Google Europe, Middle East and Africa.
- Microsoft Corporation: “The continued defense of Ukraine depends on the critical digital alliance between countries, companies, and nonprofits, which is why Microsoft has contributed in-kind resources, and funding through GPE’s multiplier initiative. We’re proud to support GPE to help ensure the children of Ukraine get the support they need,” said Kate Behncken, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Philanthropies
- Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine: "Global Partnership for Education has successfully brought together high-tech companies and leading humanitarian organizations to support the continuation of education in Ukraine. Thanks to the unlocked funds, we can now target the most vulnerable and disadvantaged girls and boys and provide them with access to different learning modalities and tools as well as improve their well-being. Our comprehensive and holistic approach is the result of the combined effort of GPE, UNESCO, UNICEF, Google, and Microsoft. We applaud our partners for setting an outstanding example to the global education community," said Dmytro Zavhorordnii, Deputy Minister on Digital Development, Digital Transformation and Digitalization.
- Global Partnership for Education: "The contributions by Microsoft and Google are a clear demonstration of the important role private sector partners play in transforming education, including in countries gripped by intense conflict such as Ukraine," said Laura Frigenti, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Partnership for Education. “GPE will continue working with partners to attract new sources of financing so that all children can access 12 years of quality education and contribute meaningfully to their communities.”
- UNESCO: “Since the very first days of the war, UNESCO has stood by the people of Ukraine to ensure the continuity of education, as a pillar of Ukrainian resilience and recovery. Concrete solutions like distance learning and psychosocial support are vital to prevent a lost generation in Ukraine,” said Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education.
- UNICEF: “As many Ukrainian children rely on distance learning in these challenging times of war, ensuring their access to digital technologies is crucial. Our joint initiative aims to support the undisrupted education process and create learning opportunities so that the kids have all tools they need to develop their talents and succeed in the future. The partnership with GPE, Microsoft, Google, the Education Ministry and UNESCO is crucial to ensure learning continuity for every child during these challenging times. Within this initiative, over 350,000 girls and boys, particularly the most disadvantaged, will have access to multiple learning pathways and learning recovery opportunities,” said Murat Shahin, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine.
Numbers on effect of war on education and children (UNICEF):
- As of February 2023, the war in Ukraine has left over 1,300 children killed or injured.
- Over 3,000 educational institutions have been damaged by bombing and shelling with over 420 completely destroyed.
- Only 31% of teachers in villages and 56% in cities indicated that primary school students were covered by distance learning.
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UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It contributes to peace and security by promoting international cooperation in education, sciences, culture, communication and information. UNESCO, as United Nations’ specialized agency for education, provides global and regional leadership to ensure every child, youth and adult has access to quality education throughout life.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s most difficult and challenging places to reach the world’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org
About the Global Partnership for Education
GPE is a shared commitment to ending the world’s learning crisis. We mobilize partners and funds to support nearly 90 lower-income countries to transform their education systems so that every girl and boy can get the quality education they need to unlock their full potential and contribute to building a better world.
Tamara Kummer, GPE Head of Communications, @email,
Tel: + 33 7 82 26 07 18
Thomas Mallard, UNESCO Press Officer, @email, +33 1 45 68 22 93
Damian Rance, UNICEF Ukraine, Chief of Communications and Advocacy, @email, +380 50 344 4564