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UN and partners urged to act urgently on education in emergencies at summit - Afghanistan

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Noreen Hossein

United Nations, 18 September 2022 (IPS) – Aisha Krum’s school was hit by a suicide bomber and her university was attacked by terrorists. But even though she learned in an environment where the walls were splattered with blood, she never wavered from her determination to get an education.

Afghan youth advocate, Krum shared her experience at the Transformation Education Summit (TES) session on “Education and Learning in Emergencies and Protracted Crisis”.

The session was hosted by UNICEF, UNESCO, UNHCR, Education Cannot Wait (ECW), Global Partnership for Education, Member States South Sudan and Ecuador. It took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on the second day of the summit, called “Solution Day.”

“Don’t be surprised if I say I happen to survive all these years,” Crumb said. “My school was destroyed by suicide bombings multiple times, my university was attacked by terrorists who shot students during lectures. Windows are shattered and walls are stained with student blood. I remember sitting there.”

Whatever the circumstances, she was determined to continue her education.

“But those bullets, bombs, and attacks never stopped us from pursuing education. We have seen firsthand how a lack of education contributes to insecurity and instability in Afghanistan.”

The second day of the summit was devoted to launching or scaling up initiatives by the United Nations and its partners. These initiatives were in line with his five thematic action tracks at the summit, the goal of spotlighting areas that need more attention. Education funding.

In the context of education in crisis situations, the purpose of this session is to strengthen Member State commitments to implement effective and evidence-based solutions and to encourage Member State-led action within clearly set timeframes. It was to mobilize partners to help.

Early on, this session discussed Commitment to Action: Education in Crisis, a proposal for the steps needed to transform education across all stages of emergency planning and implementation. This will ensure education for the most marginalized and vulnerable children and young people affected by the emergency.

The multitude of speakers and diverse experience makes it clear that education must be treated and delivered with the same level of need and urgency that we ensure food, clean water and health in times of crisis. became.

The session was moderated by Dean Brooks, Director of the Interagency Network for Education in Emergencies and Co-Chair of the Geneva Hub for Education in Emergencies.

“The purpose of this session is to see how we generate the commitment needed from our partners and to mobilize action,” he said.

The speakers in attendance represented Member States and their partners among UN agencies, civil society organizations and advocates.

Kram also addressed the current state of education in Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban riots of August 2021, reminding attendees that more than 60% of the 4.2 million out-of-school children are girls. I was. Girls are banned from returning to school at the secondary school level, and the move has sparked global outcry against the Taliban.

“An education crisis is a humanitarian crisis,” Crumb said. “Education is as important to young people as food, water and shelter.”

ECW Executive Director Yasmin Sheriff said at the session that there is an urgent need to resolve crises like Afghanistan.

“Thanks to the multilateralists we have at the United Nations … we have access and we can talk to the de facto authorities in Afghanistan. Children and young people are our number one,” she said. “We can reach out to those most marginalized.”

“The United Nations has a 30-year-old coordinating system that connects the Ministry of Education and civil society, which is jointly led by the United Nations. ”

An ECW study found that forced displacement caused by environmental or climate-induced disasters, armed conflict, and emergencies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the education of more than 222 million children. I’m here. This includes her 78.2 million students who are out of school and at least her 120 million students who are in school but lag behind in reading and math proficiency.

The education sector was severely underfunded. In 2021, he received only 21% of the requested funds. In the same year, his 2.5% of global humanitarian funding was allocated to education, falling short of the target of 4%.

This speaks to the urgent need, more than ever, to fund education to reach the most vulnerable and marginalized children and young people of our time. That is what makes multi-stakeholder participation and collaboration essential to transforming education.

“In times of humanitarian crisis, education is underfunded…We need to deliver education as development in a humanitarian context. It requires capacity, speed and funding,” said Sheriff. added that an estimated US$1.5 billion would be needed to reach up to 20 million children by funding institutions and programs working in vulnerable areas.

Member State representatives also spoke of the need to protect education in times of crisis.

“Education is more than the right to learn,” said Qatar’s Minister of Education and Higher Education Bhushaina bint Ali Al-Nuaimi. “It brings stability…we have to protect the rights of children and young people.”

Ecuador’s Minister of Education, Maria Braun Perez, said: “We cannot see education as a separate element from health, clean water, sanitation and food.

This session sets the stage for Member States and partners to commit to their commitments to action and paves the way for a spotlight session on the situation of crisis on Leaders’ Day on 19 September.

IPS UN Secretariat Report