Niyi Aderibigbe

CAR gets $6.3m emergency funding for children’s education

In the Central African Republic (CAR), civil war has deprived an estimated 500,000 children of schooling. Many school buildings have been destroyed under attack by armed groups. Teachers have fled. Families have been displaced, and children are highly vulnerable to recruitment into armed groups, crime, sexual abuse, child marriage and early pregnancy.

In response to the humanitarian crises, the Global Partnership on Education (GPE) will provide $6.3 million in emergency funding to support the education of tens of children displaced by conflict and violence, following a request from the Government of the Central African Republic.

This follows $6 million in accelerated funding already approved in August to support children caught up in conflict in South Sudan.

Julia Gillard, Board Chair, Global Partnership for Education said that the emergency funding follows a commitment from the CAR government to “step up efforts and ensure the right to education for every child.”

“Children’s lives depend on getting a quality education and every month lost takes years to recover”, said Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnership for Education.” The GPE model has the flexibility to restructure funding support to help countries and regions to strengthen and rebuild their education systems and ensure that children can learn safely during and after crisis.”

GPE’s accelerated funding will provide pre-primary and primary students with a range of interventions, including classrooms in areas where displaced families are located, learning materials, meals, water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure and additional teachers as well as training for them. Displaced children and children from surrounding communities will also benefit from the support. UNICEF is the GPE grant agent in CAR.

Conflict, fragility and humanitarian crisis are among the biggest barriers that keep children from getting an education. Twice as many children living in these contexts are out of school than their counterparts in non-conflict countries; two-thirds as many adolescents don’t get schooling.

More than 90 percent of refugee children live in developing countries where the school infrastructure is already weak. As a result, only 60 percent of refugee children are enrolled in primary school, compared to more than 90 percent globally.

Globally, education in emergencies receives just 2.7 peecent of humanitarian aid.

GPE, therefore, finances education interventions that accompany children throughout a country’s progress from preparedness to recovery to reduce the impact of crisis. About 60 percent of GPE’s funding is for the schooling of children affected by conflict and fragility, including refugee children. GPE also promotes better coordination and dialogue between humanitarian and development actors.