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Investing in Education, Investing in Children, Investing in the Future [EN/AR] – World

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Statement by ECW Director Yasmine Sherif on International Day of Education

January 24, 2023, New York — On the International Day of Educationwe join donors, UN agencies and civil society partners in calling on world leaders to deliver on the commitments set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly our commitment to “ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities promoting learning for all (SDG4).”

We can’t forget the most vulnerable children in the world — those who saw their parents murdered in horrific attacks like Lucas in the Democratic Republic of Congo, those driven from their homes by climate disasters, hunger and drought like Mariam in Mali, those who dream of becoming a doctor, lawyer and leader of tomorrow, like Zehab in Afghanistan.

There are 222 million crisis-affected children and adolescents around the world in urgent need of educational support. By investing in their education, we are investing in people who can and will change the course of humanity.

This year we mark an important turning point. We are halfway through our joint efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. While COVID-19, economic uncertainty, armed conflict and ongoing crises have derailed our efforts, we are working to deliver on these global commitments.
It won’t be easy to get there, but it is possible. In seven short years, we must change the way we fund and deliver education in emergencies and protracted crises.

Several new mechanisms and growing multilateral funds will unite us in our efforts to achieve these goals, including Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd), the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and other key strategic global funds.

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Working with these global partners – UN agencies, civil society, governments and the private sector – ECW’s new Strategic Plan is a powerful blueprint for true transformation. It seeks to prioritize holistic learning outcomes, transform global finance data, respond to climate change, put localization and community participation at the heart of our work, advance commitments to gender equality and disability inclusion, and address forced displacement. By action!

To achieve SDG4 and support the achievement of all other Sustainable Development Goals, we need to increase the scale, speed, depth and impact of our investments.

World leaders will gather in Geneva next month for the ECW Conference on High Level Finance (HLFC). Hosted by ECW and Switzerland – and convened jointly by Colombia, Germany, Niger, Norway and South Sudan – the HLFC provides an opportunity for world leaders, corporations, foundations and high net worth individuals to deliver on our promise of education for all and support ECW’s goal to Reach 20 million crisis-affected children and adolescents with the safety, strength and opportunity of quality education.

We are urging donors from the public and private sector to invest in education, invest in children and youth, and invest in the future during ECW’s HLFC on February 16-17. By doing this, we can help make #222MillionDreams a reality for the 222 million crisis-affected girls and boys who urgently need educational support in the world’s worst circumstances.

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