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EFA Flagship Initiatives

The Initiative on Education in Situations of emergency
and Crisis


Crisis, conflicts and emergencies adversely affect education systems in many ways:

Population displacement (at present estimated at 50 million throughout the world);

45 to 95 per cent of classrooms neglected or damaged;

Teachers dispersed, killed or not working;

Offices, equipment, textbooks and supplies neglected or destroyed;

Reduction in enrolment;

Diversion of educational resources to military or security purposes;

Child soldiers, child-headed households, orphans;

Core values and social cohesion eroded, HIV/AIDS proliferation;

Conflict is strongly related to the level of human development (60 per cent of low Human Development Index (HDI) and 24 per cent of medium HDI are conflict countries).

In situations of crisis and emergencies, education is essential in order to:

Re-establish a sense of normalcy and structure and build self-esteem and hope for the future;

Provide protection against exploitation and harm, especially for girls and adolescents;

Meet the psychosocial needs of children and adolescents affected by trauma and displacement;

Disseminate key survival messages, such as landmine awareness, conflict resolution and peace-building;

Sustain study skills and skills-building;

Promote reintegration, reconstruction and sustainable development.


This EFA flagship strives to:

Ensure that children and young people living in countries affected by crisis and emergency have access to education, recreation and related activities, helping meet their psychosocial needs in the short and longer term.

Promote collaboration and effectiveness in education responses during crisis and early reconstruction through communication, resource sharing, and advocacy.


Actions and activities are concentrated around two principal areas:


The Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) creates forums for communities, practitioners, researchers and experts to share resources and information, identify the problems and issues that directly affect education programmes, and develop and share best practices.


At the international level

INEE and its members work collectively and independently to encourage multilateral and bilateral agencies and donors to put more resources into education for emergency programming, to make it a humanitarian priority and to ensure post-crisis early reconstruction response.

At the national level

Other international education policy frameworks and appropriate forums draw attention to the need for increased response to education needs of refugees, displaced populations and other populations affected by conflict and crisis.

At the local level

Organizations work with communities and governments to ensure education for all populations affected by crisis.


INEE, the inter-agency vehicle, consists of over 570 individual members and over 85 organizational members. The steering group is comprised of CARE USA, the International Save the Children Alliance, the International Rescue Committee, the Norwegian Refugee Council, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNICEF and the World Bank.

Contact Information

Mary Mendenhall
Network Coordinator
Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) UNICEF - Education Section, Programme Division
3 U.N. Plaza, H-7A
New York, N.Y. 10017
Telephone: 1 212 326 7581
Fax: 1 212 326 7129

INEE is an open network of UN agencies, NGOs, donors, practitioners, researchers and individuals from affected populations working together to ensure the right to education in emergencies and post-crisis reconstruction. Join INEE: