USAID ECCN member Giulia McPherson with Jesuit Refugee Service recently returned from the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) and volunteered to share about her experiences through a brief interview with USAID ECCN.
USAID ECCN: How were you and your organization involved in the Summit?
Jesuit Refugee Service co-hosted a side event at the World Humanitarian Summit entitled Delivering Quality Education in Emergencies: What Needs to be Done? The event featured three panels that addressed current challenges in delivering education in emergencies, innovations in delivering quality programs, and how partnerships are paving the way for new approaches to addressing challenges in this sector. A World at School provided a summary of the event.
USAID ECCN: What are your main takeaways or new ideas from the WHS related to education in crisis and conflict?
First, across the humanitarian sector, there is a call for better data collection and impact assessment. In the context of education in emergencies, Sara Smith from the IRC discussed the need for committed resources to better assess needs. Dubai Cares shared that they are partnering with New York University to collect data in this sector and will launch the initiative soon.
Second, philanthropic and corporate entities are playing an ever greater role in the humanitarian sector, as evidenced by Dubai Cares committing $2.5 million to the launch of Education Cannot Wait and initiatives like the new Humanitarian Impact Bond being piloted by the Belgian Government and ICRC.
USAID ECCN: What were highlights from the Education Cannot Wait Fund launch?
During the launch of the new Education Cannot Wait Fund, representatives from donors including the United Kingdom, the United States, Norway, the European Union, and the Netherlands pledged $90 million, just over half of the $150 million needed to fully fund year one of this new initiative. The UK led the way with the highest pledge, £30 million over the next two years. The U.S. government followed with the second largest pledge, $20 million.
The Obama Administration’s Refugee Summit, set to take place September 20 in New York City, will offer another opportunity for national governments to make commitments towards the Education Cannot Wait Fund.
USAID ECCN: Did you come away with any resources that could be helpful for the rest of the USAID ECCN membership?
- The new Education Cannot Wait Website provides more information on the initiative.
- The UNHCR & Global Monitoring Report paper “No More Excuses: Provide Education to all Forcibly Displaced People” was published just before the event.
- The Jesuit Refugee Service Report “Providing Hope, Investing in the Future: Education in Emergencies & Protracted Crises” was also published the week before the WHS.
The following are two older papers, but helpful resources that were referenced at the WHS:
- Save the Children: “What Do Children Want in Times of Emergency and Crisis? They Want an Education.”
- EU, NRC & Save the Children: “Hear it from the Children: Why Education in Emergencies is Critical.”
USAID ECCN: What else would you like to share with the USAID ECCN membership about your experience at WHS?
Time and again, donors, practitioners, and advocates, commented that education in emergencies was finally being recognized as a priority in the humanitarian sector. The focus on education was unmistakable at the World Humanitarian Summit and all who took part were made aware of this. Thank you to the champions who have led the charge, and donors who have made kick-off commitments to the Education Cannot Wait Fund. Our community must build on this momentum to ensure that this focus does not dissipate, but rather continues to grow.
Giulia McPherson is the Assistant Director of Policy with Jesuit Refugee Services/USA.
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