Education in Emergencies

A significant proportion of out of school children and adolescents live in conflict-affected countries and this number is increasing. A new report finds these children are more than twice as likely to be out of school as those in other countries. Adolescents are two thirds more likely to be out of school.

As the UN lead agency for Education, and within the framework of the 2030 Education Agenda, UNESCO plays an active role in promoting lifelong quality education for all as a part of emergency response and for long-term recovery. Protection of schools and universities from attack during armed conflict stays a major concern for UNESCO.
There are also unprecedented numbers of forcibly displaced populations, putting huge pressure on education systems. Refugee children and youth urgently need their right to education to be protected by humanitarian and development partners. 

UNESCO is particularly aware of the need to plan for disaster risk reduction and to build social cohesion to face the serious challenges post-conflict and post-disaster.


Conflicts, natural disasters and pandemics, and the resulting displacement of people, can leave entire generations traumatized and without access to education, and ill-equipped to contribute to the social and economic recovery of their country or region.

Endorsing the Safe Schools Declaration, UNESCO and Member States actively engage in addressing the impact of violence and conflict on learning institutions.

The declaration acts as an instrument for States to support and implement the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict.

Quality education in safe and neutral environments is immediately protective. It provides lifesaving knowledge and skills and psychosocial support to those affected by crisis and prepares them for a sustainable future.

The principles of prevention, preparedness and response and established international guidelines such as the inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) Minimum Standards guide UNESCO’s work in creating inclusive, responsive and resilient education systems to meet the needs of children, youth and adults in emergency contexts.

Related themes: Disaster Risk Reduction, Heritage at Risk, Safety of Journalists, Women's and Girls' Education