The world is facing a growing education emergency. Deep budget cuts to education, isolation, school closures, and rising poverty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could force at least 9.7 million children out of school forever, with millions more falling further behind. Vulnerable children like those who are displaced, refugees, girls, and children with disabilities already faced enormous barriers to accessing an education.
Kids like Dave*, a 15 year old South Sudanese refugee, who said he misses going to school and worries for his friends: ‘Some of our friends who are girls are now getting pregnant because of the school closures. Some are dropping out of school because they have now got married. And some of the boys are going to work for other people, on their farms or in the market’.
Like Dave and his friends, when a child is out of school for an extended period of time without the proper support, they are often unlikely to return to school due to early pregnancy, forced marriage, or child labor. Yet if all girls and boys complete secondary education, 420 million people could be lifted out of poverty. The world cannot afford a generation of young people who lack the skills they need to compete in the 21st century economy. We cannot leave them behind.
That’s why Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the first and only global fund dedicated to providing education in emergencies, is working tirelessly to respond to crises like COVID-19 around the world and helping countries recover and rebuild from the after-effects.
But to impact even more lives and respond to the learning, food, water and mental health crises the most vulnerable kids are enduring, ECW needs world leaders to prioritize education for those being left behind. That’s why we need you to call for leaders from the EU, France, Germany, Sweden, Canada, and the G20 to continue their support for ECW and make sure no child is left behind. Tweet, asking world leaders to respond to this global education emergency by urgently committing or recommitting their funding support for ECW.