School â€śas vital as food and medicineâ€ť for children caught up in conflict and other emergencies, Brussels/ New York, 6 December 2016
Braving the consequences of war, natural disaster and other emergencies, nearly 2 million children in 20 countries around the world have been able to continue their schooling over the past four years as a result of a partnership between the European Commission's department for humanitarian aid and civil protection and UNICEF. The results of the EU-supported education-in-emergencies programme were released during a public event in Brussels concluding an innovative social media-led awareness-raising campaign which sought to engage young Europeans on the issue.
Of the 462 million school-aged children and young people living in countries affected by emergencies, an estimated 75 million are in desperate need of educational support. Even so, education continues to be one of the least funded sectors in humanitarian appeals. At present, less than 2% of the global humanitarian budget goes for this purpose.
The 7-month EU-UNICEF #EmergencyLessons campaign reached more than 70 million people on Twitter alone, targeting in particular young Europeans in: Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom.
Supporters were encouraged to spread the word among their peers through social media platforms, as well as at their own schools and in public events. The campaign drew on the inspirational real-life stories of children in Iraq, Ukraine, Nepal, and Guinea who continued to study despite war, natural disaster and disease outbreaks.
â€śChildren are prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to continue their education even in the worst of circumstances,â€ť said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, Justin Forsyth.
The European Union has set an example by committing to increase the EU humanitarian aid budget to education in emergencies to 6% in 2017 and we hope others will do the sameâ€ť. Christos Stylianides made the announcement at the international Education in Emergencies Forum that took place on 30 November in Brussels.
Find out more about the #EmergencyLessons campaign at: www.emergencylessons.eu
Download the EmergencyLessons School Pack from here:Â http://bit.ly/1XdFTNZ
Source: UNICEF, Press Release, 6/12/2016