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Education Cannot Wait Announces US$5 Million Catalytic First Emergency Response Grant in Ukraine with Urgent Appeal for Us$20 Million in Additional Funding

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‘The children and adolescents of Ukraine are caught in a horrific armed conflict and forced displacement across the borders. Their lives have been brutally shattered from one day to another. Education Cannot Wait and our partners do what we can to provide continuous access to education. This is crucial to cope with the trauma they experience and provide some hope to which they can hold on during this extremely difficult time.’ – ECW Director Yasmine Sherif

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15 March 2022, New York – In response to the vast humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ukraine, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) and its strategic partners announced today a US$5 million catalytic grant that will step up the global education in emergencies response to a conflict that has impacted 5.7 million school-aged children and put hundreds of thousands of lives at risk.

ECW’s catalytic First Emergency Response grant also aims to help mobilize an additional US$20 million in funding to align with the needs outlined in OCHA’s Flash Appeal that was recently launched to respond to urgent humanitarian needs in Ukraine. The grant will be managed by Save the Children and UNICEF, focusing on protecting the wellbeing of Ukraine’s conflict-affected girls and boys. Once conditions allow, the grant will provide continuous access to education and psychosocial support for the children and adolescents impacted by the deteriorating situation following the Russian Federation military offensive that began on 24 February.

The Flash Appeal targets 875,000 children and teachers impacted by the crisis, of which approximately 150,000 school-aged girls and boys are targeted by ECW’s catalytic grant. ECW and its strategic partners will adapt the response as the situation evolves as the longer-term education needs in Ukraine and bordering states remain unclear and may exceed initial projections.

Over 3 million refugees have already fled to neighbouring countries, and there is significant internal displacement. Schools and education facilities in Ukraine are closed across the country, and recent reports indicate attacks on schools, hospitals and other civilian facilities. OCHA’s Flash Appeal estimates that 2.2 million children will need education assistance.

“The children and adolescents of Ukraine are caught in a horrific armed conflict and forced displacement across the borders. Their lives have been brutally shattered from one day to another. Education Cannot Wait and our partners do what we can to provide continuous access to education. This is crucial to cope with the trauma they experience and provide some hope to which they can hold on during this extremely difficult time,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises.

Children impacted by the crisis in Ukraine are not only being denied their right to education as a result of the conflict, they are also at grave risk of physical harm and severe emotional distress. The ability to learn is severely affected by acute and on-going exposure to conflict-related trauma and psychological stress leading to a risk of school dropout and negative coping mechanisms.

In times of crises, out-of-school children face heightened risk of abuse and exploitation, trafficking, gender-based violence, early pregnancy, and recruitment into armed groups – adolescent girls are particularly at risk.

“We call on all our strategic donor partners – from the public, private and philanthropic sectors – to join ECW’s efforts and step up their support to urgently fill the US$20 million funding gap to support much needed education in emergencies interventions for the children and adolescents of Ukraine who are bearing the brunt of this senseless violence,” said Sherif.

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Note to Editors

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW):
Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises. We support quality education outcomes for refugee, internally displaced and other crisis-affected girls and boys, so no one is left behind. ECW works through the multilateral system to both increase the speed of responses in crises and connect immediate relief and longer-term interventions through multi-year programming. ECW works in close partnership with governments, public and private donors, UN agencies, civil society organizations, and other humanitarian and development aid actors to increase efficiencies and end siloed responses. ECW urgently appeals to public and private sector donors for expanded support to reach even more vulnerable children and youth. ECW is administered under UNICEF’s financial, human resources and administrative rules and regulations; operations are run by the Fund’s own independent governance structure.

On Twitter, please follow: @EduCannotWait@YasmineSherif1 @KentPage

Additional information available at: www.educationcannotwait.org

For press inquiries:
Anouk Desgroseilliers, adesgroseilliers@un-ecw.org, +1-917-640-6820
Kent Page, kpage@unicef.org, +1-917-302-1735
For other inquiries: info@un-ecw.org