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A humanitarian response to education

Jun 10, 2009

Save the Children’s new report: Last in Line, Last in School 2009 finds that nearly 40 million children worldwide are out of school in conflict-affected fragile states. With global financial crisis threatening investment in basic services, the report urges governments to prioritise education aid for children in emergencies.

Last in Line, Last in School 2009

Publisher: Save the Children, April 2009

In 2007, Save the Children began to monitor education aid flows to conflict-affected fragile states (CAFS), and as part of humanitarian response.

Last in Line 2009

This third annual Last in Line, Last in School report reflects on progress made so far, drawing comparisons with previous years and determining recent trends in the allocation of education aid.

It notes that although education assistance has been slowly increasing in areas of conflict where millions of children remain out of school, the current global financial crisis may soon reverse these gains.

If trends continue, CAFS will not receive the levels of basic education aid needed to achieve the education Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of universal primary education until 2034, well beyond the 2015 deadline.

Regardless of this critical role, on average between 2005 and 2007, CAFS received just over a quarter of basic education aid, despite being home to more than half – 40 million – of the world's 75 million out-of-school children.

While the demand for investment in governance and infrastructure is inevitably higher in CAFS, and this is critical for enabling wider education reforms to reach remote schools, it is clear that not enough attention is being paid to addressing the immediate educational needs of conflict-affected populations, where one in three primary-aged children is out of school.

The report outlines the following recommendations:

  • Ensure funding is equitable, based on need, with at least 50% of new basic education aid commitments going to CAFS
  • Increase basic education aid to meet the $9bn annual external financing requirement for achieving good quality universal primary education.
  • Prioritise education in CAFS, ensuring that at least 10% of ODA in CAFS is allocated to education
  • Meet the Education for All-Fast Track Initiative (EFA-FTI) financing gaps and ensure adequate funding of the FTI's Education Transition Fund.
  • Establish policies on education in emergencies that ensure education is an integral part of humanitarian response
  • Allocate a minimum of 4.2% of humanitarian aid to education to meet education funding requirements in emergency situations
  • Support coordination for education in humanitarian response through the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Education Cluster
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