Children playing Pacific Press/Getty Images

An Earthquake in Education Funding

A new Education Crisis Platform will be launched at the World Humanitarian Summit in May. Once it is established, support will be made available to humanitarian workers and educators to help children affected by natural disaster, epidemic, or war to continue their studies.

NEW YORK – In mid-April, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador, killing at least 500 people and injuring another 4,000. The immediate priority is relief and rescue – searching for survivors (100 people are still missing), reuniting loved ones, and providing care, water, shelter, and food. But once this is accomplished, the work will have to continue.

In particular, some 150,000 young people, according to UNICEF estimates, will have to be provided with psychosocial support, and a sense of normalcy, protection, and hope. And the best way to do that is through the rapid provision of education.

When humanitarian relief efforts neglect the need for education, young people are left on the streets – vulnerable to trafficking, violence, extremism, and exploitation. Moreover, the failure to provide up-front education investment during crises makes the provision of a broad range of social services less cost-effective, as consistent learning spaces aid in the delivery of health, counseling, and other family services and training.

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