Photo © Dominic Chavez/World Bank
A report released August 3rd, commissioned by Theirworld and the Global Business Coalition for Education and written by Kevin Watkins, Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), highlights the current gap in funding that may leave hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugee children out of school when classes resume in 60 days.
Despite solid plans to deliver quality education to all Syrian refugees developed by neighboring host countries Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan and the international community, the report notes that many donors have failed to follow through on financial pledges made, threatening the ability of generations of children to secure the skills they need to become productive members of society and participate in a 21st century workforce.
Six years of conflict in Syria and counting, the persisting funding gap and issues highlighted in No Lost Generation — Holding on to the Promise of Education for All Syrian Refugees are prime examples of how the unique skills, assets, ingenuity, and efficiency of the business community could provide transformative change for hundreds of thousands of refugee children.
We have already seen how this can be done. Business have committed more than $90 million in financial and in-kind resources in response to the Syrian refugee crisis, as shared by the Coalition during the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May 2016.
This Summit more broadly emphasized the need for an immediate education response to crisis globally, and the private sector has a clear role to play in this effort. GBC-Education committed to harnessing these unique private sector capabilities, mobilizing support from business for the newly launched Education Cannot Wait Fund and developing a 24/7 database to catalogue private sector contributions and assets available for immediate deployment at the onset of an emergency.
The REACT Database is the first of its kind, providing first responders with the ability to deploy a quiver of tools maintained in real-time, without bureaucratic delay as a crisis unfolds. These tools expand upon more traditional financial contributions to allow companies to register and lend core assets, in-kind services, human resources, or expertise. All contributions are recorded by geographic region within the database to further eliminate unnecessary delay in taking action.
To register your company in the REACT Database, simply fill out this short survey.
To learn more about the Education Cannot Wait Fund or REACT Database, contact ECW@gbc-education.org.