With Hope and Courage: Education Cannot Wait Calls on World Leaders to Close the Funding Gap to Deliver on Promises of Education for All


The United Nations global fund for education in emergencies issues results report showing it has now reached close to 9 million children.

NEW YORK, Sept. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — As the world celebrates International Literacy Day – and the power of education to build sustainable and peaceful societies – Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies, is calling on world leaders to scale-up financial support.

ECW and its strategic partners are responding with record speed. On average, it takes just 9 weeks to respond to acute emergencies and 15 weeks to respond to escalating crises.


According to its Annual Results Report issued today, ECW and its global strategic partners have reached 8.8 million children with quality, holistic education since the Fund’s inception in 2016, including 4.2 million in 2022 alone.

“The achievements outlined in ECW’s new results report tell a story of a breakout global fund moving with strength, speed and agility, while achieving quality. While donors are stepping up, the funding gap has actually widened, and only 30% of education in emergencies requirements were funded in 2022. We must rise to this challenge by unlocking more financing for education,” said The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of the ECW High-Level Steering Group.

ECW faces a funding gap of approximately US$670 million to fully finance results under the 2023-2026 Strategic Plan, which will reach 20 million children over the next three years.

“With hope and courage, we can rise to the challenge of a world set afire by climate change, brutal conflicts and forced displacement. We can do so by mustering the courage to boldly invest in education for those left furthest behind,” said Yasmine Sherif, Executive Director of Education Cannot Wait.

To date, ECW has financed education programmes across 44 countries. When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools across the globe, ECW responded by repositioning its programming, reaching an additional 32.2 million children.

ECW’s investments are making important strides to reach the world’s most marginalized children. Of the 4.2 million children reached in 2022, 21% were refugees and 14% were internally displaced.

In 2022, ECW responses included a strong focus on the climate crisis through grants for the drought in Eastern Africa, and floods in Pakistan and Sudan. ECW also approved new funding in response to the war in Ukraine and renewed violence in the Lake Chad Region and Ethiopia.

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