The EU, a rising champion of education in emergencies?

By Manola De Vos 20 July 2015

A young girl writes in a notebook in Iraq, one of the 19 countries that benefits from the EU “Children of Peace” initiative. Photo by: Jamal Penjweny / ECHO / CC BY-ND

Five years after the adoption of a groundbreaking resolution by the U.N. General Assembly, global action on education in emergencies is still in sore need of a champion — a role that the European Union could well fill in the near future.

Speaking at the Oslo Summit on Education for Development earlier this month, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides announced his plan to dedicate 4 percent of the EU humanitarian aid budget to education for children in emergency situations over the course of his mandate.

The announcement comes as a breath of fresh air for many nongovernmental organizations. As funding for education in emergencies continues to be sidelined in favor of more traditional, lifesaving humanitarian responses, their hope is that the EU’s decision will have a catalytic effect on mobilizing other donors.

“Education in emergencies is notoriously difficult to secure funding for,” David Skinner, director for education at Save the Children, told Devex. “As a standard setter on humanitarian response, the EU’s decision to increase the financing available for education in emergencies … raises the bar for what is acceptable or not in terms of donor financing for education in emergencies.”

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About the author

Devos manola
Manola De Vos

Manola De Vos is a development analyst for Devex. Based in Manila, she contributes to the Development Insider and Money Matters newsletters. Prior to joining Devex, Manola worked in conflict analysis and political affairs for the United Nations, International Crisis Group and the European Union.


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