New ECW Acceleration Facility grant strengthens regional and global capacities to provide life-saving access to safe, quality education for 224 million crisis-impacted children worldwide. 


NEW YORK, March 19, 2024 -- Around the world today, education is under attack. From Afghanistan to Nigeria, Colombia to Yemen, students and teachers are attacked, abducted and killed, while schools and universities are targeted, destroyed and used for military purposes. 



Every child must be safe to learn. This latest investment demonstrates ECW’s commitment to ensuring the safety and protection of all students, teachers and schools amidst armed conflict and other crises.

The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) identified more than 3,000 attacks on education in 2022 alone – a 17% increase from the previous year. With escalating conflicts in Gaza, Ukraine, Sudan and other global hotspots, the number of attacks on education – and attacks on human rights – is expected to increase in 2024.


To strengthen systems to better protect education from attack globally, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) announced today a US$500,000 grant to GCPEA. This three-year Acceleration Facility grant will enable stronger global and regional policies and coordination around school protection, and improve the quality and availability of education in emergencies and protracted crises data and knowledge products.


"Schools, children and teachers around the world continue to face brutal attacks. This is a gross violation of International Humanitarian Law and constitutes one of the grave violations against children in armed conflict. Children, schools and teachers must be protected. Education Cannot Wait will expand our partnership with the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack as we accelerate our work to ensure life-saving access to safe, quality education for crisis-impacted girls and boys across the globe," said Yasmine Sherif, Executive Director of Education Cannot Wait, global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises within the United Nations.


An inter-agency coalition formed to address the problem of targeted attacks on education during armed conflict, GCPEA coordinates and leads global efforts to protect education from attack. Since its formation, GCPEA has played a distinct role in advancing and supporting the education in emergencies and protracted crises sector through advocacy and policy, data and evidence, and capacity building. In close coordination with ECW and global strategic partners, GCPEA has also been instrumental in leading advocacy to increase endorsement and implementation of the tenants outlined in the Safe Schools Declaration.


"Anyone concerned with child protection, equitable educational access, or learning outcomes, must also be concerned with protecting education from attack and military use. Safety is a mandatory prerequisite for education and schools should be the safest spaces for children. With the support of ECW's Acceleration Facility, GCPEA will be able to continue to provide the rigorous research needed to understand the scope, scale and severity of attacks on education. This data is an invaluable global good that investigates the uneven impact of attacks on girls and other marginalized groups, and also analyzes how we effectively work to protect education together," said Lisa Chung Bender, Executive Director of GCPEA. 


This strengthened partnership will accelerate GCPEA's work to close key gaps in the sector, particularly relating to coordination, localization, the impact of the climate crisis, disability and inclusion, and delivery across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus.


Every child must be safe to learn. This latest investment demonstrates ECW's commitment to ensuring the safety and protection of all students, teachers and schools amidst armed conflict and other crises. The grant will also support capacity building among countries to implement the Safe Schools Declaration in preventing attacks against education and deter military use of educational facilities from occurring. 


ECW's Acceleration Facility funding mechanism is dedicated to supporting the creation of global public goods and resources for the education in emergencies and protracted crises sector. The funding window is a key part of ECW's Strategic Plan to mobilize US$1.5 billion over the next three years to reach 20 million crisis-affected children and adolescents worldwide. 


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