The European Commission is set to step up in 2016 its funding for education in emergencies to 4% of the EU’s overall humanitarian budget.
EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides had announced his commitment to boost funding for this area to 4% by the end of his mandate in 2019 earlier this year, at the Oslo Summit on Education for Development. The increase of funding is possible already next year thanks to strong support from the European Parliament and EU Member States and the agreement reached to add €26 million to the humanitarian budget for 2016.
“Investing in children today is an investment in the future tomorrow. This is why education in emergency situations is my priority. Increasing humanitarian funding in this area will bring real results for children and their families who find themselves in emergency situations, from those in Syrian refugee camps to children affected by Ebola in West Africa. No child should be left behind; education is key to ensure that all girls and boys have a chance at a bright future,“ said EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.
Today, more than 37 million children affected by conflict are out of school. ‘Education in emergencies’ is one of the most under-funded areas in humanitarian aid, with almost two thirds of the needs currently unfunded. At present, less than 2% of the global humanitarian budget goes for this purpose.
The EU has been supporting education in situations of emergency through the EU Children of Peace initiative, created in 2012 after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. To date, the EU has allocated more than €23 million for EU Children of Peace projects, including the contributions of €500 000 from Luxembourg and €250 000 from Austria in 2014. So far, more than 1.5 million children have benefitted from the initiative in 26 countries.