Today, more than 75 million children around the world out of school due to emergencies. And during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York this week, Dubai Cares reiterated its priority in helping elevate education opportunities for children in crisis-affected countries.
During a presentation on the sidelines of the assembly, Dubai Cares renewed its commitment to the Education in Emergencies programme. It also announced that it will be committing Dh1.84 million ($500,000) to ensure coordinated and sustained emergency response to the current influx of Muslim Rohingya refugees who have been displaced by the ongoing violence in Rakhine state in Myanmar. This was relayed during the ‘Education Cannot Wait’s’ High Level Steering Group Meeting.
According to the United Nations, conflict in Myanmar has forced over 410,000 Muslim Rohingya to flee their homes to Bangladesh forming a new humanitarian crisis. Children are at its heart.
Speaking about its role in alleviating the suffering of refugees through better education, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares, highlighted ‘Education Cannot Wait’ continues to mobilise the public and political commitments needed to get every crisis-affected child into school and learning by 2030.
“The investments already made and the ongoing advocacy and operations are the basis of an extraordinary global effort to transform the system the opportunities and inspiration for strategic engagement.”
However, he said there is still an overwhelming need for collective action towards providing education opportunities for every child affected by emergencies and protracted crises.
“Such a gathering is instrumental in bringing together the best minds from around the world to exchange opinions and ideas, share best practices, highlight challenges and formulate solutions.”
Others in attendance at the event included Gordon Brown, fund director Yasmine Sherif, and Tony Lake, executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).
Speaking about the conflict in Myanmar, Al Gurg said Muslim Rohingya refugees arriving in Bangladesh are staying in makeshift settlements or among local host communities. This in turn is putting severe pressure on already scarce resources.
“This is resulting in shortages in food, water and other necessities. The population is very vulnerable, consisting mainly of women and children. The sooner education can be provided, the greater the gains in helping children adjust to their current situation,” he said.
In 2016, and on the sidelines of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Dubai Cares revealed its commitment to increase the share of its programs for refugee and internally displaced children and youth, as well as children and youth of host communities, to 33 per cent of its financial portfolio over a two-year period.
Dubai Cares also announced its commitment to further expand the evidence base in relation to what works in education in emergencies and protracted crises by spending 10 per cent of all its funding for education in emergencies on research and evaluations, and sharing the findings with its partners in the sector as they arise.