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Education above all foundation and its global partners call for increase in investment in education to avert catastrophe

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  • Education must be part of stimulus packages and education budgets must be protected as schools are in need of increased funding
  • Joint statement from Education Above All Foundation (EAA), the Association for the Development of Education in Africa, the Asian Development Bank, BRAC, Education Cannot Wait, the Education Commission, the Education Outcomes Fund, the Global Partnership for Education, Save the Children, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNICEF, the World Bank, and the World Food Programme

Paris, 22 October 2020 - A global coalition of multilaterals and NGOs today called for urgent investment in education to prevent a generational catastrophe. Launching a joint white paper at the Global Education Meeting hosted by UNESCO, the Save Our Future campaign -- a movement of the biggest education multilaterals in partnership with over 600 civil society organizations, research organizations, foundations, media, youth, and influencers -- put forward an evidence-based roadmap with concrete recommendations for governments to build back and improve education systems post-COVID-19.

Ninety percent of students in all countries and continents -- 1.6 billion children and youth -- had their education disrupted due to the pandemic. Never before have so many children missed out on school. This is the greatest disruption of the education system in history. With the catalytic impact education has across health, jobs, income growth, climate change, poverty reduction, and social justice, the next generation faces devastating consequences if we do not address this education emergency.

Despite the dire and known social and economic impact of this fast-growing education emergency, there is an imminent risk that governments will deprioritize investments in education as they make short-term fiscal responses to the pandemic. This means that low- and lower-middle-income countries could face an annual financing gap of about $200 billion. If governments and development partners do not act urgently, this crisis could turn into a catastrophe from which millions of children may never recover.

The Save Our Future white paper calls on governments and the international community to commit to protect education budgets and target budgets towards those left furthest behind, fully finance education as a key part of the COVID-19 recovery, improve coordination, and use evidence to ensure education funding achieves maximum impact.

In addition, governments should also prioritize reopening schools, resume delivering vital support such as health and nutrition services to children and protect and treat the education workforce as frontline workers. Governments should transform education -- making it more inclusive, engaging, and adaptive so that it can act as the engine of sustainable development that we desperately need; strengthen the education workforce so that teachers and other professionals are well-equipped to enable learning and support the well-being for all children; focus education technology where it is proven to be effective and most equitable, and avoid the risk that technology continues to exacerbate inequality.

Dr. Mary Joy Pigozzi, Executive Director, Educate A Child said, "We have learned from past crises that children at high risk who are missing out on education may never return to the classroom. We cannot allow this to happen as a result of the pandemic. As we build back, we must view educators as among the first responders and focus financing on the children who are being left the furthest behind. Let's enable a better future for all by ensuring equity and inclusion through the provision of quality education".

ENDS

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Education Above All (EAA) Foundation

The Education Above All (EAA) Foundation is a global education foundation established in 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. EAA envisions bringing hope and real opportunity to the lives of impoverished and marginalised children, youth and women, especially in the developing world and in dire circumstances such as conflict situations and natural disasters. We believe that education is the single most effective means of reducing poverty, generating economic growth and creating peaceful and just societies, as well as a fundamental right for all children and an essential condition to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For more information, visit educationaboveall.org.

EAA is comprised of four programmes: Educate A Child (EAC), Al Fakhoora, Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), and Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC). In addition to providing access to education for children around the world, EAA advocates to safeguard inclusive and quality education for all.

Educate A Child (EAC)

Educate A Child (EAC), a global programme of EAA aims to trigger significant breakthroughs and a material difference in the lives of children who have no access to primary education. EAC has been helping millions of the hardest to reach out of school children (OOSC) around the world.

Through partnership and innovation, millions of children continue to be supported to overcome the barriers blocking their path to education. Playing a catalytic role in the field of OOSC and quality primary education, EAC strives to achieve individual and social outcomes for these children, their communities and a more sustainable world for us all.

About the Save Our Future Campaign

Save Our Future is a global movement of diverse voices uniting to amplify the voices of children and young people as they deliver a simple, yet powerful message amidst the COVID-19 crisis: Save Our Future. The campaign seeks to ensure that: all children and youth to continue to learn during lockdowns through inclusive distance learning; every child and youth are supported to return to school when it's safe to do so; and governments and donors invest in education now so we can build better, more inclusive, and resilient education systems for the future.

Save Our Future is led by a core hub of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa, the Asian Development Bank, BRAC, Education Above All, Education Cannot Wait, the Education Commission, the Education Outcomes Fund, the Global Partnership for Education, Save the Children, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNICEF, the World Bank, and the World Food Programme in partnership with over 600 organizations and youth.