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

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.