New education partnerships to support young Syrians hit by conflict and crisis

UNESCO reaffirmed its commitment to a common platform to urgently address the financing of education in emergencies such as the Syrian Refugee crisis at a meeting in Washington on April 15, 2016.

The High-Level Champions Meeting on Education in Emergencies, chaired by Mr Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, followed up on commitments made during the Oslo Summit on Education for Development in June 2015, to set up a common platform and create a dedicated fund for education in emergencies in time for the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, in May, 2016.

Svein Osttveit, Director of the Executive office, UNESCO Education, told the meeting UNESCO was fully committed to the new platform/fund. He emphasized the importance of aligning its work with the 2030 development agenda and in particular SDG 4, as well as highlighting the importance for the new initiative to support secondary education, TVET and higher education as well as non-formal education opportunities to young peoples affected by crisis.

Representatives of UNESCO Education Sector attended a series of events held in the margins of the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings in Washington including the Global Business Coalition for Education, roundtable discussions with Augustin Matata Ponyo, Prime Minister, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), High-Level Champions Meeting on Education in Emergencies and The Education Commission.

New ways of working together to deliver and finance education

The Global Business Coalition for Education gathered over 80 business leaders and development agency representatives to discuss how to create and use new partnerships to provide education for young people impacted by the Syrian refugee crisis and conflict, opportunities and models for new ways of working together to improve delivery and finance of education.

In his closing remarks Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, stressed that he “wants the private sector at the heart of the new fund for education in emergencies.”

Roundtable discussions with Mr Ponyo, Prime Minister, DRC, focused on the country’s preparations for a new education plan for the period 2016-2015 and how donors and the international community can better coordinate efforts to support the country in achieving its ambitious education goals and finding innovative financing arrangements to advance those aims.

“Since 2006 UNESCO has accompanied DRC laying the foundation for better management of their education system through the development of reliable education statistics and EMIS - Education Management Information System,” said Mr Osttveit.

The Education Commission was co-chaired by Borge Brende, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway, and Gordon Brown, UN special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity.  The Special Envoy tabled a new proposal for partnership with countries that agree to adopt a more ambitious target in education to receive support through funding.