Winning the human race, together

  • Opinion by Yasmine Sherif (new York)
  • Inter Press Service

Making this moral choice and adopting this legal imperative is more relevant today than ever. The 75 million children and adolescents caught in emergencies and protracted crises who suffer from interrupted education have increased dramatically from 75 million to 128 million as a result of the pandemic. These vulnerable girls and boys are now the most left behind in some of the world’s most difficult contexts, including Afghanistan, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and South America.

The current education financing gap stands at US $ 1.48 billion for low- and middle-income countries. A gap that is widening more and more. To rekindle the much-needed multilateralism, the UN Secretary-General will convene a crucial and timely summit on transforming education in 2022.

Despite everything we do, despite all our investments, we cannot win over “the human race” unless we invest in our fellow human beings now. It is children and young people affected by armed conflict, climate-induced disasters, forced displacement and protracted crises who are in a sprint against the clock, with their lives and futures on the line.

We can no longer allow “an entire generation facing irreversible loss to be left in the ruins of armed conflict, in prolonged refuge, on a planet whose climate change threatens us all”, as the United Nations special envoy for the United Nations. global education and education chair Cannot Wait’s high-level steering group, The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown said at the launch of Education Cannot Wait’s annual results report: Winning over the human race, October 5, 2021.

Education is the foundation, the DNA and the absolute prerequisite for achieving all other sustainable human development goals and universal human rights. Education means investing in the limitless possibilities of human potential: the workforce, governance, gender equality, justice, peace and security. “Access to quality education is essential to meet the challenges of the 21st century, especially to accelerate the fight to end poverty and climate change,” says The new CEO of the LEGO Foundation, Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, in this month’s ECW Newsletter high-level interview.

The time has come to connect the dots between individual human beings and our collective humanity and life on this planet. We are now investing more and more in Mother Earth thanks to significant climate change funding. We must now also invest in the human beings who inhabit the planet. The correlation between the positive impact of education on all aspects of life on the planet is indispensable and unavoidable.

  • Higher education levels lead to greater concern for the environment and adaptation to climate change. If educational advances are stalled, it could lead to a 20% increase in disaster-related deaths per decade.
  • Education is the only investment that can prevent conflict and forced displacement. High secondary school enrollment rates have been shown to be associated with an increase in a country’s level of stability and peace and a reduction in crime and violence.
  • Each additional year of schooling reduces a teenager’s risk of being involved in conflict by 20%. This effect reflects both the economic benefits of education and its role in social cohesion and national identity.
  • Conversely, lack of education often leads to political powerlessness and regression to group allegiances.. In 22 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, sub-national regions with a very low average educational attainment had a 50% probability of experiencing the onset of conflict within 21 years, while the corresponding interval for regions with a Very high average educational level was 346 years.
  • Education is also the surest way to end extreme poverty. For nations, each additional year of schooling can represent up to 18% of GDP per capita. For individuals, an additional year of study results in a 10 percent increase in personal income. If all children learned basic reading skills, the impact would be 171 million fewer people living in extreme poverty. * Notes below.

Education Cannot Wait is a United Nations global multilateral fund. Our 2020 annual results report, Winning the Human Race, launched at the United Nations in Geneva this month, is a testament to what we can accomplish when we think and act multilaterally: When we connect the dots, become one and let’s act for all.

Through multilateralism, we have reached over 29 million crisis-affected girls and boys in 2020 alone through ECW COVID-19 Emergency Response, working with our strategic partners, including host governments, our 21 donors, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNESCO, UNDP, WFP, our civil society partners, such as INEE, Jesuit Service refugees, AVSI, Save the Children, Plan International, Norwegian Refugee Council, International Rescue Committee and many local civil society organizations in 34 countries. Through joint programming, we were also able to jointly deliver quality education to over 4.6 million children and youth, of whom 51% were girls and adolescents, 38% were refugees – while increasing ECW allowances for children and young people with disabilities.

This is made possible because ODA governments, the private sector and philanthropic partners are increasing their support for the ECW Global Catalytic Fund, in which their investments are part of multilateral efforts that work as closely as possible with those we serve. , making enabling links to many and diverse SDGs and human rights. The complete list of our 21 generous donor partners can be found at the end of this newsletter.

In connection with the YOUNG week of this year, ECW’s strategic donors advancing multilateralism, such as Germany, US, European Union / European Commission, France, the LEGO Foundation and Porticus have made giant strides and committed $ 138.1 million for ECW, bringing the total resources mobilized so far in 2021 alone to $ 156.1 million and the total since ECW’s inception to 1.85 billion dollars ($ 827 million mobilized for the trust fund; and over $ 1 billion in ECW MYRP aligned programs, as operated by ECW with its partners).

In addition, the Global Hub for Education in Emergencies celebrated its new collective space under the aegis of ECW in Geneva, thanks to Switzerland which is the second largest capital of the United Nations for humanitarian and development actors after New York. The Global Hub brings together NGOs, UN, universities, foundations and governments to inspire more commitment and resources for quality education for those most left behind in emergencies and protracted seizures.

Multilateralism through the work of the United Nations.

Yet this is only the start of a major global effort to work through the multilateral coordination system to reach those most left behind and bring education from the fringes to the center. Based on empirical evidence, ECW is asking for an additional $ 1 billion to contribute to a proven innovative model.

Political leaders, governments, the private sector, the United Nations and civil society – all part of the UN multilateral system of ECW – recognize that education is a prerequisite for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. and universal human rights. Together, we think long term and act now. Together we connect the dots and see things from afar and from within. Together, we are working on what the world needs most right now: a common agenda to win over the human race.

Yasmine Sherif is Director, Education Cannot Wait The United Nations Global Fund for Education in Emergencies and Protracted Crises

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© Inter Press Service (2021) – All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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