Education in Emergencies: Preparedness, Response, Recovery

©Jen Steele
- Eritrean students in an English class in Shimelba Refugee Camp, northern Ethiopia

A significant proportion of the 132 million children out-of-school worldwide, live in countries affected by war and natural disasters. Achieving Education for All requires that we ensure learning opportunities for these children and youth affected by emergencies.

It is increasingly recognized that education must be a principal part of any humanitarian response. Conflict and disaster-affected communities themselves prioritize the provision of education for their children, often even before more immediate material needs. Education can save and sustain lives, offering physical, cognitive and psychosocial protection when delivered in safe, neutral spaces. Education restores routine and gives people hope for the future; it can also serve as a channel both for meeting other basic humanitarian needs and communicating vital messages that promote safety and well-being. As the UN lead agency for Education, UNESCO plays an active role in promoting education as a part of emergency response and for long-term recovery.

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