New funding for education in emergencies will change young people’s lives
Our CEO Tanya Barron reflects on the impact £85 million will have on young people’s futures.
If you’re a girl affected by conflict or disaster, your life chances are likely to be among the worst in the world. You’re more likely to be married before the age of 18 than to finish school. You’ll be at greater risk of exploitation and early pregnancy. And there’s a two in three chance you won’t even start secondary school.
That is why Plan International UK has been calling on international leaders and donors to act. Girls around the world need concrete commitments to ensure their futures are not lost.
This week the UK Government has done just that. I was delighted to be invited to a Number 10 reception hosted by the Prime Minister, to celebrate progress being made to improve girls’ access to education across the world.
The reception came in the wake of the G7, where the UK Government made a £85million donation to the Education Cannot Wait Global Fund, the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies.
This is the largest, single contribution received so far and will have an enormous, positive impact. It will benefit 600,000 young people – particularly adolescent girls – who are currently being left behind due to armed conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies.
It will also advance our global commitments as it will accelerate progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4: to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education.
But there is still more to do.
Girls continue to be left out and left behind. When disaster strikes, the prospect of finishing secondary school can become a distant dream. Our research shows that three in four girls affected by crisis do not complete their secondary education, while a girl in Niger is 20 times more likely to be a teenage mother than she is to complete secondary school.
Globally, 13 million girls are completely out of school as a result of humanitarian crisis. That’s the equivalent of three girls missing out, for every girl in school here in the UK – three girls whose full potential may never be realised.
Girls are telling us they want education more than anything. They want to be pilots, doctors and engineers. They want to rebuild their countries. But when disaster strikes, and they are forced out of school, their hopes are destroyed.
We hope that the UK Government’s announcement will pave the way for other international leaders and donors to act and show their commitment to championing girls’ rights.
Girls around the world need concrete commitments like this to ensure they have every possible chance to thrive.
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