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Dubai Cares Commits AED73 Million To Education In Emergencies
(19 October 2016)

 

Dubai Cares, DC, today announced the allocation of AED 73,470,000 (US$ 20,000,000) for the International Network for Education in Emergencies, INEE, which helps promote access to quality, safe, and relevant education for persons affected by crises.

The commitment by DC, which is part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's Global Initiatives, will initially cover three programmes in Lebanon, Niger and Sierra Leone. Future programmes will also be announced in the coming year.

The announcement was made at a press conference today, attended by Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares, and Jennifer Sklar, Deputy Director of Education at the International Rescue Committee.

Dubai Cares also launched a new community awareness and fundraising campaign, known as #LastILearned, in support of its Education in Emergencies strategy. The campaign will run for one month and aims to raise funds and build awareness of the plight of children affected by conflict and natural disasters.

Education is a fundamental right of every child, yet in times of conflict and disaster, access to education gets disrupted and in many cases results in lost generations of children and youth. Dubai Cares’ #LastILearned campaign takes away the numbers and tells the real stories of the children affected by emergencies, such as the story of 15-year-old Nadia, who has not been receiving an education since the beginning of the Syrian conflict and who shares the last thing she learned in school.

Emphasising the importance of Education in Emergencies, Tariq Al Gurg, said, "Despite the growing number of children caught in conflict and natural disasters, statistics show only one percent of overall humanitarian aid is spent on education. This makes the needs of children living in fragile states an urgent priority for us."

He continued, "We need to show greater commitment to the children and their parents who have voiced their need for education despite their uncertain conditions. 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. My belief is that the adults of the future will only be literate if all children of today get the education they deserve."

Since the beginning of the year, representatives from DC have been visiting countries and regions around the world to see firsthand the struggles faced by children and young adolescents caught up in conflicts, gathering and feeding back information that guided the organisation’s strategy for Education in Emergencies and provided insight for the #LastILearned campaign.

Today, one in 113 people are either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum, and more than half of the world’s refugees are children. The average length of displacement today has reached 17 years and the average length of conflict today is 37 years. According to the United Nations, girls are almost 2.5 times more likely to be out of school in conflict-affected countries and adolescent girls are nearly 90 percent more likely to be out of secondary school in conflict-affected countries than their peers in stable countries.

Al Gurg continued, "#LastILearned is an extremely novel campaign that I have no doubt will prove to be highly effective and impactful. The problems faced by children and adolescents impacted by conflict and natural disasters cannot be ignored, and we at Dubai Cares intend to do everything we can to help them. The Education in Emergencies programmes we are announcing today are just a start. We are committed to providing children affected by emergencies with the education they need to give them hope, make them more resilient and help them achieve their full potential."

The new programmes in Lebanon, Niger and Sierra Leone, are part of "Education in Emergencies: Evidence for Action", or 3EA, which is a new initiative that brings together Dubai Cares, the International Rescue Committee, IRC, and the Global TIES for Children /New York University, NYU, in a pioneering three-year initiative that seeks to have a catalytic effect on the Education in Emergencies sector by testing the impact of key interventions in these emergency settings.

Jennifer Sklar said, "We are grateful to Dubai Cares for their strong commitment to Education in Emergencies. Through the 3EA 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. 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."

Over the past 9 years, DC has successfully launched education programmes reaching over 16 million beneficiaries in 45 developing countries. With the support of the UAE community, it continues making a difference in the lives of children and their communities by building or renovating 1,580 classrooms and schools, provided more than 770 water wells and potable water sources, constructed more than 5,900 latrines in schools, and trained over 63,990 teachers. It also distributed over 2.8 million books written in local languages and established over 5,100 Parent-Teacher Associations.

Also in attendance at the conference were key campaign donors, Mohammad Al Ansari, Chairman and Managing Director, Al Ansari Exchange, Salim M.A., Director, Lulu Group International and Noor Al Ghafari, on behalf of Waleed Al Ghafari.

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