An estimated 128 million primary and secondary aged children are out of school in crisis-affected countries.
During conflict, schools are often destroyed or become unsafe. Students are forced out of school, making them more vulnerable and at risk of violence, forced labor and permanent displacement, without a guarantee that they can go back to school when they arrive at a safer destination.
Ensuring that children have access to education during conflict and crises protects their rights, instills a sense of normalcy, and fosters resilience, inclusion and tolerance, supporting the long-term processes of recovery and peacebuilding.
GPE 2020 identifies support to countries affected by fragility and conflict as a key priority, in order to reach the children most in need of education support.
In situations of crisis, GPE aims to have education services restored quickly while laying the foundation to meet longer-term education goals.
GPE in action
GPE finances education interventions that accompany children throughout a country's progress from preparedness through to recovery to reduce the impact of crises. It recognizes that securing education services across the divide between humanitarian and development interventions is crucial to maintaining progress.
GPE also promotes a foundation for better coordination and dialogue among development and humanitarian actors so that resources are used in the best way possible in crisis settings.
Flexible and accelerated funding: Partner countries experiencing humanitarian crises can request accelerated funding from GPE, with an approval in as little as 8 weeks. Exceptionally during 2020, this allows countries to apply for an additional 20% on top of their regular implementation grants. The funds are used based on the education cluster needs assessment and agreed by the local education group and the education cluster. Activities can include temporary shelters, school meals and school supplies, as well as classroom construction, teacher payments and school grants.
Transitional education planning: GPE provides financial and technical support to help partner countries establish a transitional education plan. This forms the basis for a coordinated approach by identifying priority actions in the medium term to maintain progress toward ensuring the right to education and meeting longer-term educational goals.
Operational framework for effective support in countries affected by fragility and conflict: Under this policy, GPE is able to redirect resources to priority activities arising from the emergency.
These mechanisms ensure that GPE funding to the education sector does not stop when the emergencies strike and that partners can work together in identifying the most pressing needs and the best use of the funds.
Working with partners. GPE works with Education Cannot Wait, UNHCR and other partners to ensure that education support during crisis is complementary. GPE is also facilitating dialogue among development and humanitarian actors in many countries to improve linkages and joint planning and to avoid fragmentation of education planning and financing.