Business Speaks Out for Education in Emergencies

From the Ebola crisis in West Africa to the devastation after the Nepal Earthquake to violent attacks on school children, the business community has played a critical role in rebuilding the education sector during and after an emergency.  And starting this week, GBC-Education will lead the business response on how best to address this challenge.

The Inter-Agency Network of Education in Emergencies (INEE) Secretariat has invited GBC-Education to coordinate a global consultation with the business community on education in emergencies.  The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) has drafted an issues paper on education in emergencies that will influence the Oslo Summit on Education for Development discussions on 6-7 July. The paper outlines the challenge of education in emergencies and protracted crises, explores the current architecture, identifies key gaps and sets out consultation questions to inform a range of possible solutions that will be proposed as part of the final paper.

This consultation will serve to inform solutions to the complex problems of education in emergencies and will be a very important part of the conversation on which many children’s lives and futures depend.

Many children have their education interrupted by conflict and emergencies and never return to school and more than half of the 58 million out-of-school children live in conflict and emergency settings. Despite this, of the $22.2 billion in humanitarian aid in 2014, only 1% went to education. Thus the education of the most vulnerable children continues to be neglected and grossly underfunded.

Without education during conflicts and emergency situations, children are subjected to early marriage, forced into child labor, trafficked, conscription into armed factions, subjected to violence and abuse and recruited into extremist groups, threatening social and economic stability in the near and long term. Importantly, children are also not learning the skills and resilience they will need to rebuild their communities, countries and economies once the emergency or conflict has ended.

Thank you to all companies who participated in the consultation.  GBC-Education companies and peer business coalitions participated in the consultation, collectively representing over 8400 companies of diverse sizes, industries and regions of operation.  The results from the consultation are available online.  

For any questions, please contact Kevin Kalra, Senior Project Manager.

Photo © hdptcar