The Global Partnership for Education strongly condemns the violent attack on a convoy of buses carrying school children in Burkina Faso.
“This devastating attack on children returning to school is unacceptable. Children caught up in conflict are not and must never be targets,” said GPE CEO Alice Albright. “My deepest sympathies go out to the victims and those affected by this horrific incident, and to the families of those who were killed.”
Spiraling insecurity in the northern parts of Burkina Faso has threatened to derail education gains. According to the United Nations, escalating violence in the country has displaced nearly half a million people and forced nearly 1,500 schools to close, depriving over 200,000 school-aged children of their right to an education.
Since 2002, GPE has worked with local education partners to support the Government of Burkina Faso’s efforts to improve the quality of education in the country and ensure more children complete basic schooling, providing more than US$214 million in grants. The current grant of nearly US$56 million supports efforts to increase children’s access to basic education, reduce geographical disparities, and improve learning outcomes by boosting the quality of education.
This latest attack is part of a disturbing global trend of increased violence against children and schools. Between 2013 and 2017, more than 12,000 students and teachers were harmed in more than 12,700 attacks on education in more than 70 countries.
“Attacks like today’s should be a wake-up call to the world,” said Ms. Albright. “Global leaders must do more to prevent attacks on education and protect children caught up in wars.”
GPE recently stepped up its support to education in crises, announcing that it has unlocked an additional $250 million in funding for education in countries experiencing humanitarian emergencies. As a result, Burkina Faso is eligible to apply for an additional $11 million in accelerated funding.