Statement from Global Citizen re: the Outcome of Education Cannot Wait’s Replenishment Fund Conference in Geneva

Thursday, February 16, 2023

“Today a total of $826 million has been pledged towards Education Cannot Wait’s (ECW) replenishment campaign, which over the next four years aims to reach 20 million of the most vulnerable children affected by crisis. We are pleased by the promising outcome. This is a strong start to kick off a four year campaign to raise $1.5 billion to make children’s dreams come true. We invite those governments, foundations and businesses that did not step up today to urgently invest in children's education and future because education cannot wait.

Investing in children’s future is a smart investment for all of us. It reaps a lifetime of benefits, not only for children but also for their communities, and it is something we can afford. In 2022, for the first time, the world’s collective military expenditure passed $2 trillion. Today’s $1.5 billion target represents less than 1% of this amount.

There is much more that needs to be done to transform education systems in up to 40 crisis-affected countries, where 80 percent of the world’s out of school children live. Over 222 million crisis-affected children and adolescents are in need of educational support, and through ECW’s replenishment campaign, we have the power to change that.

Education is truly the most powerful and transformative tool for success, allowing an entire generation to not only carve out their own future, but to also find solutions to overlapping global crises along the way. Investments in education reap a lifetime of benefits, and are key in breaking the cycle of extreme poverty, and unlocking the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda by 2030.

We urge all relevant stakeholders to step up and meet the urgent needs and basic human rights of the next generation. We are committed to leveraging our platforms throughout this year, from the Global Citizen NOW Summit in April, and Global Citizen Festival in September, to increase pledges towards ECW’s critical programs. Together, we can empower 222 million children in crisis to fulfill their dreams.”

— Michael Sheldrick, Co-Founder & Chief Policy, Impact and Government Affairs Officer, Global Citizen.