Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has participated in the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, the first global call to action by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to address the unprecedented levels of human suffering with more than 125 million women, men and children in need of humanitarian assistance. The Summit, which took place between May 23 and 24, featured a special event to launch Education Cannot Wait – a fund for education in emergencies, a global Education in Emergencies platform that Dubai Cares contributed to technically as well as financially by committing AED 9.18 million (USD 2.5 million) over the next two years to the start-up phase of the fund’s Secretariat. Dubai Cares’ involvement in this platform follows the organization’s commitment to champion education in emergencies during an event it co-hosted in September 2015 on the sidelines of the week of the 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Dubai Cares has been part of a Technical Strategy Group that was set up by political champions Rt. Hon Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Mr. Tony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF and Mrs. Julia Gillard, Board Chair of the Global Partnership for Education at the Oslo Summit on Education for Development in July 2015. Dubai Cares participated in the Group to identify bold solutions to the challenges for education in emergencies. The identified solution to all the challenges was the decision to launch a specific funding platform focused on education in emergencies, which today resulted in the creation of Education Cannot Wait.
During the Summit, Dubai Cares revealed its commitment to increase the share of its programs that reach refugee and internally displaced children and youth, as well as children and youth of host communities, to 33% of its financial portfolio over the next two years. Dubai Cares also announced its commitment to further expand the evidence base in relation to what works in education in emergencies and protracted crises by spending 10% of all its funding for education in emergencies on research and evaluations, and sharing the findings with its partners in the sector as they arise.
In 2015, humanitarian emergencies disrupted the education of more than 80 million young people. For many refugees, education provision can be extremely limited; only 12% of children in emergency situations who need an education are receiving support. The lack of funding is also a big part of the problem; according to a report by Save the Children, less than 2% of all humanitarian funding goes to education.
The Education Cannot Wait – A Fund for Education in Emergencies, aims to address this issue, whereby an audience of delegates from governments, humanitarian organizations and those affected by crises witnessed the announcement as part of the Summit’s wider activities. Education Cannot Wait is a five-year AED 14.14 billion (USD 3.85 billion) appeal which aims to drive investment in education for children and youth affected by humanitarian emergencies and protracted crises, aims to reach more than 13.6 million children. Additionally and as part of the Summit’s activities, Dubai Cares was selected as a member in the newly formed High-Level Steering Group for the Education Cannot Wait fund, which will oversee the platform by approving a strategic plan, provide governance, ensure financial oversight and approve the budget.
Speaking about the funding platform from Istanbul, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares said: “We see education as a priority when supporting countries that have been hit by a natural disaster, epidemic or conflict. However, funds are needed before any action can be taken. Education Cannot Wait can help the education humanitarian community cover a significant funding shortfall and give children globally the help they desperately need.”
Applauding the leadership of Dubai Cares in Education in Emergencies, Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education said “Dubai Cares has done amazing innovative work and they have been the first philanthropic foundation to announce that they are donating a contribution to the Education Cannot Wait fund.”
The Summit and its activities were developed around a number of core objectives. Organizers hoped to re-inspire a commitment to humanity and humanitarian principles, and also set an agenda for action that would enable countries to better prepare for and respond to crises. They also strived to share innovations and best practices which can save lives and prevent suffering.
Alongside the launch of the Education Cannot Wait, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares sat on several panels to share the organization’s experience on a variety of topics. Al Gurg participated in a key session titled "Delivering Quality Education in Emergencies: What Needs To Be Done" organized by UNRWA and the International Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), where he shared practical examples of how Dubai Cares tries to address the call for action for education in all humanitarian contexts, as well as how the organization’s use of partnerships helps ensure high-quality delivery of education interventions on the ground, and contributes to a global evidence base on what works in education in emergencies.
Dubai Cares also attended the ‘Stepping Up in Crises: Finance, Delivery and Innovation in Education’ meeting hosted by the Global Business Coalition for Education, an effort by UN Special Envoy for Global Education Rt. Hon Gordon Brown and Mrs. Sarah Brown. The event, which was attended by the United Nations’ Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, highlighted the important role that the private sector is playing in building effective partnerships, develop innovative solutions and mobilize more resources and financing for education in emergencies.