The European Commission has announced it will devote €164 million in funding to education in emergencies projects in 2019.
The funding represents the highest figure allocated to education in emergencies since it was declared a priority funding area for the EU in 2015; and will go towards projects offering education and training to children and students in countries whose education systems have been affected by conflict or natural disasters. Between 2015 and 2018 funding from the EU enabled more than 6.5 million pupils and teachers across 55 countries in crisis to access education. The proportion of the EU’s humanitarian aid budget dedicated to support for education in emergency-hit regions has increased from one per cent in 2015 to 10 per cent in 2019.
Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, who announced the funding at the #School4All High Level Event on Education in Emergencies in Brussels yesterday, said: “Education in emergencies is an absolute priority for the European Union. Since 2015, our support has increased from one per cent of the European humanitarian budget in 2015 to 10 per cent in 2019. The European Union is leading by example. It is a global champion of education in emergencies. We are making a concrete investment to peace by helping every child get access to school, anywhere and at all times. Education is the foundation for everything else. It is a protective shield against violence, sexual exploitation, or radicalisation, especially in humanitarian crises. It makes children feel safe and provides them with opportunities for a brighter future.”
The EU has also launched the #RaiseYourPencil campaign, aimed at raising awareness among young people in Member States of the need to provide access to reliable, comprehensive education in crisis-hit regions. The Commission is encouraging school students to express solidarity with their peers worldwide who cannot access education due to emergencies, by posting on social media using the hashtag #RaiseYourPencil.