Unlocking Futures – seven key insights on financing for education in emergencies

To unlock financing for education in crisis settings, a new analysis reveals seven key insights into the funding of education in emergencies (EiE).  

This timely analysis highlights persistent challenges and untapped opportunities, offering a guide to all those working to address the chronic underfunding of education in crisis contexts. The four persistent challenges explain why EiE continues to be underfunded and not prioritised as highly as other sectors. The three opportunities point a way forward to mobilise more funding for EiE, especially looking forward to this year’s Summit of the Future and the United Nations General Assembly, in the race to deliver on promises outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The analysis follows on from the Geneva Global Hub for Education in Emergencies’ 2022 flagship report on financing for EiE

Persistent challenges: 

Opportunities to address the EiE funding gap: 

The education needs of crisis-affected and displaced children continue to rise, due to the impact of such conflicts as Gaza, Ukraine, Sudan, Myanmar and elsewhere, alongside the toll taken by increasingly frequent climate-related disasters. As a result, EiE remains chronically underfunded, and the need to mobilise greater financial resources is more urgent than ever. 

Humanitarian funding alone will not be sufficient to close the funding gap, so coordination between humanitarian and development funding for education should be further strengthened in crisis-affected countries. An appropriate proportion of climate finance should also be provided to the education sector, and EiE partners should be given further capacity-building opportunities so they can access the relevant funding mechanisms. 

Over the last two years, key stakeholders – including, crucially, crisis-affected children and young people themselves – have continued to identify EiE financing as a priority. This was emphasised at the Transforming Education Summit in September 2022, at the High-Level Financing Conference of Education Cannot Wait (ECW) in February 2023 and at the Global Refugee Forum in December 2023, amongst other processes. However, in this same time frame, many donors have cut their humanitarian budgets, with consequences on EiE, while attention to high-profile emergencies has overshadowed other neglected crises. With the ongoing strain on key donors’ humanitarian funding, 2024 will be a critical year in terms of ensuring continued financial support to education in emergencies. Further efforts are needed to make sure that scarce resources are targeted where the needs are greatest, as millions of children and youth will be left without access to quality education unless adequate funding is secured to support education systems before, during and after humanitarian crises. 

This analysis was presented in an event on 26 June at the Permanent Delegation of the European Union to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva. Representatives of Permanent Missions in Geneva, from a diverse range of countries, discussed how to tackle the presented challenges and seize the opportunities to mobilise more funding for EiE. The seven key insights will also be highlighted on 28 June in a side event at the ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment in New York, co-organised by the EiE Hub, UNICEF, UNFPA and the Compact for Young People in Humanitarian Action, focusing on EiE, youth and financing.


The EiE Hub is an alliance of 52 entities – including States, funds, international organisations and procedures, civil society organisations, private foundations, an international financial institution, the ICRC and the International Federation of the Red Cross, and academic entities – committed to presenting a unified voice in shaping and influencing education in emergencies (“EiE”), stepping up visibility, political and operational commitments, and funding for EiE.