Press release | Date: 16/02/2023 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
‘Safeguarding education in situations of crisis and conflict is a priority area for the Norwegian Government. Education Cannot Wait is one of our most important partners in these efforts. Our cooperation has been extremely constructive, and Norway is now pledging to provide support to ECW’s work over the next four years,’ said Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim. Ms Tvinnereim today announced an allocation of NOK 500 million to Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the UN global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, for the period 2023–2026. Ms Tvinnereim is attending ECW’s High-level Financing Conference in Geneva this week.
‘Education in crisis and conflict is a priority area for the Norwegian Government. It is very important that education is an integral part of crisis response, to ensure that children do not lose access to the education system. Education Cannot Wait delivers educational programmes to 43 countries and is working to fulfil the educational needs of 20 million children. Norwegian NGOs work closely with Education Cannot Wait and implement ECW’s programmes in a number of countries,’ said Ms Tvinnereim, from Geneva.
Education Cannot Wait is the only global UN fund for education in situations of crisis and conflict and is Norway’s key partner in this area. Norway played a central role in establishing the fund during the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, following the initial discussions at the Summit on Education for Development in Oslo in 2015.
The fund was established to increase the focus on education in crisis and conflict situations, and to mobilise funding and promote better coordination between humanitarian and development actors working in the field of education. The programmes currently being implemented in 43 crisis-affected countries include both education programmes as a component of immediate emergency relief efforts and multi-year programmes to support stabilisation efforts. The common denominator is to provide high-quality education, and to ensure that plans for long-term activities are incorporated in the humanitarian response from the outset.
Norway provides substantial support to Education Cannot Wait. With its overall contribution of NOK 728 million for the period 2016–2022, Norway is the fifth largest donor to ECW after Germany, the UK, the US and Denmark. In 2021, ECW provided education for approximately 3.7 million children and adolescents in crisis and conflict situations, including refugees and internally displaced people in 32 countries. The fund provided support for the construction and rehabilitation of some 13 500 classrooms, access to informal educational programmes for roughly 390 000 children and adolescents, training of close to 39 000 teachers, distribution of teaching materials to approximately two million students and access to school meals for 186 000 children and adolescents.