Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has renewed its commitment to Education in Emergencies at a special event held on the sidelines of the week of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. The event, which was co-hosted by Dubai Cares and ‘Education Cannot Wait’ fund, brought together the leadership of the world’s most influential companies and foundations to expand dialogue from the political arena, elevate education in emergencies in the minds of those who have the power to initiate change and consequently drive more investment in education by supporting learning opportunities for children and youth in crisis-affected countries. At this vital event, and through his opening remarks, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares highlighted the opportunities and inspiration for strategic engagement; participants also learnt about the fund’s progress from its leading political champion Rt. Hon Gordon Brown; and the vision of the fund by Director Ms. Yasmine Sherif. Tony Lake, Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) also spoke at the event.
Speaking from the Dubai Cares and Education Cannot Wait joint event, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares said, “Education Cannot Wait continues to mobilize the public and political commitments needed to get every crisis-affected child into school and learning by 2030. The investments already made and the ongoing advocacy and operations are the basis of an extraordinary global effort to transform the system. Yet, there is still an overwhelming need for collective action towards providing education opportunities for every child affected by emergencies and protracted crises. Such a gathering is instrumental in bringing together the best minds from around the world to exchange opinions and ideas, share best practices, highlight challenges and formulate solutions. Businesspeople, leaders, employers, innovators, humanitarians and philanthropists have a critical role to play in tackling this issue and their influence is crucial to the success of the fund.”
Dubai Cares also attended the Education Cannot Wait's High Level Steering Group Meeting. During this meeting, Dubai Cares announced that it will be committing AED 1,836,750 (USD 500,000) through Education Cannot Wait to ensure coordinated and sustained emergency response to the current influx of Muslim Rohingiya refugees who have been displaced by the ongoing violence in Rakhine state in Myanmar.
According to the United Nations, conflict in Myanmar has forced over 410,000 Muslim Rohingya to flee their homes to Bangladesh forming a new humanitarian crisis, with children at its heart. Moreover, the vast majority of refugees are women, including mothers with newborn babies and families with children, according to UNICEF.
Al Gurg added, “Many of the new Muslim Rohingya refugees arriving in Bangladesh are staying in makeshift settlements or among local host communities. This is putting severe pressure on already scarce resources, which is resulting in shortages in food, water and other necessities. The population is very vulnerable, consisting mainly of women and children. The sooner education can be provided, the greater the gains in helping children adjust to their current situation. Through Education Cannot Wait, Dubai Cares is extending a helping hand by providing Muslim Rohingya refugee children newly arrived in Bangladesh a sense of normalcy, stability, and hope for the future.”
Launched at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, Education Cannot Wait is already delivering a step-change in the coordination of humanitarian and development funding and planning. Education Cannot Wait is a five-year AED 14.14 billion (USD 3.85 billion) appeal whose main goal is to increase investment in education for children and youth affected by emergencies and protracted crises, aims to reach more than 13.6 million children.
In 2016, and on the sidelines of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Dubai Cares revealed its commitment to increase the share of its programs for refugee and internally displaced children and youth, as well as children and youth of host communities, to 33% of its financial portfolio over a two-year period. 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.
Dubai Cares has launched to date 8 Education in Emergencies programs as part of its education in emergencies strategy. These programs, which are worth AED 78,060,471 (USD 21,249,618) are in Colombia, Iraq, Liberia, Nepal, Niger, Palestine and Sierra Leone as well as targeting children affected by the Syrian crisis in Jordan and Lebanon, with a total number of beneficiaries reaching 323,900.
According to UNICEF, 75 million children are out of school in the world today due to emergencies. Education in emergencies is significantly underfunded as a humanitarian sector. Despite recent increases, as of 2017 still less than 2% of global humanitarian funding is allocated to education. This is mainly because other life-saving emergency actions often take priority over education during crises, despite the overwhelming benefits of education for children.
The Dubai Cares delegation, led by Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer is also attending events and meetings which include the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) high-level strategic discussion among philanthropic foundations to explore new opportunities for scale and impact in global education that make greater use of collective assets and networks.
Also on the agenda, is the Global Partnership for Education Replenishment 2020 launch celebration, a high-level event on Early Childhood Development (ECD), in addition to a number of bilateral meetings with UN agencies and International NGOs.