Education in Emergencies

© UNESCO/ Maja Hitij
a photo of a school that has been attacked

Children and education systems are often on the front line of violent conflict. According to the 2011 EFA Global Monitoring Report, “The hidden crisis: armed conflict and education”, 28 million children are out of school in conflict-affected countries – representing 42% of the global out of school total; Child death rates are more than double; and only 79% of young people are literate.

Education is a fundamental human right for all people. Education is especially critical for the tens of millions of children and youth affected by conflict and disasters, and yet it is often significantly disrupted in emergency situations, denying learners the transformative effects of quality education.

Education in emergencies comprises all efforts to guarantee access to quality learning opportunities for all ages in conflict and emergency situations, including the offer of safe spaces for learning, as well as saving lives by providing physical protection and conveying life-saving information.

Such educational opportunities also mitigate the psychosocial impact of conflict and disasters, strengthen problem-solving and coping skills, and are also an entry point for the provision of essential support beyond the education sector such as protection, nutrition, water and sanitation and health services.

They also offer opportunities for social transformation by helping all stakeholders to create more equitable educational systems and structures, as well as providing an arena to introduce new skills and values.

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