Dubai Cares has announced a $20 million commitment in support of educational programs for children affected by conflict or natural disasters.
The funds initially will support programs in Lebanon, Niger, and Sierra Leone as part of "Education in Emergencies: Evidence for Action" (3EA), a three-year initiative that will bring together Dubai Cares, the International Rescue Committee, and Global TIES for Children at New York University to test the impact of key interventions in emergency settings. The grants include $2.4 million to improve reading, math, and social-emotional outcomes for forty-six hundred highly vulnerable Syrian refugee children in Lebanon, bolster teachers’ capacity, and enhance parental engagement; $2 million for a similar program for a thousand refugee children in Niger; and $1.9 million to improve educational quality and learning outcomes for four thousand children in Sierra Leone whose education was interrupted by the Ebola crisis.
"Through the Education in Emergencies: Evidence for Action initiative, we will ensure that children and youth exposed to years of war-related traumas will have access to safe and predictable learning opportunities that teach them both the academic and social-emotional skills they need to learn and thrive," said Jennifer Sklar, deputy director of education at IRC. "We hope this initiative will jumpstart change in the humanitarian sector and develop the knowledge and evidence we need to inform global policy and practice."
"Despite the growing number of children caught in conflict and natural disasters, statistics show only 1 percent of overall humanitarian aid is spent on education," said Tariq Al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Cares, which also launched an awareness and fundraising campaign called #LastILearned. "We have to unite and act faster than ever to ensure that children’s education is not interrupted, resulting in generations missing out on an education they so desperately need. The opportunity costs of these years lost due to conflict and natural disasters is exceedingly high and we need to do everything we can to prevent it."