• The world is facing an increasing number of conflicts, natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies. Among those affected, children are the most vulnerable.

    A whole generation of children – especially girls and young women – face a bleak future without education.

    We need to invest in their future!

1 billion children & young people living in conflict-affected areas

But only 1.95% of global humanitarian aid is allocated to education

Education is key

Education plays a key role in preventing man-made humanitarian crises by avoiding conflicts and preventing a vicious circle of violence in post-conflict situations.

Education in humanitarian emergencies is crucial to address key issues on the European and global political agenda, including migration and security.

Yet, only 1.95% of global humanitarian aid is allocated to education – despite the fact that in humanitarian crisis situations the affected communities usually see their children’s education as a key priority, right after basic subsistence needs. Substantial efforts and sacrifices are often made by communities to ensure their education can continue.

The EU and the international community should listen and respond to this clear need by focusing on and investing in access to education for children affected by humanitarian crises.

Our call for action is outlined in the sections below. Also, find the print version here:

Read it

Our call for Action

For us in the S&D Group, education should be a key part of the response to humanitarian emergencies.

Therefore, we join the global education community in calling for international donors to commit to allocating 4% of humanitarian aid to education. If funding for education in emergencies received 4% of this spending, about 7 million children could benefit from emergency education programmes.

At the same time, this would create a much-needed stronger link between humanitarian aid and development co-operation policies.
The first step on this path should be that the EU does its share by earmarking 4% of its humanitarian aid for education.

Increasing access to education leads to better economic prospects, improved health and makes us all better citizens whilst having a profound impact on society as whole.

Doubling the percentage of young people with secondary education from 30% to 60% has the potential to halve the risk of conflict. A good-quality education may not be enough to counter extremism, but could play a critical role in helping young people resist recruitment into extremist causes.

Education can promote tolerance as well as global citizenship skills. It is key for peaceful and inclusive societies.

Our Goal

Increase the percentage of humanitarian aid spending from

by 2018

The Numbers

Education remains the least funded humanitarian sector globally, receiving less than 2% of overall humanitarian funding.


Total Global Spending

on humanitarian response in 2014 amounted to US$24.5 billion but under US$500 million was committed to education.


12% of People

could be lifted out of poverty if all students in poor countries had basic reading skills.


In 2014

the EU institutions contributed US$2.3bn to humanitarian aid.


61 Million

children of primary-school age are out of school. More than half of them live in poor countries affected by conflicts.


Gender Disparities

are exacerbated by conflicts. Girls are almost 2.5 times more likely to be out of school if they live in conflict-affected countries.


Young Women

in conflict areas are 90% more likely to be out of secondary school than their male counterparts elsewhere.


226+ Million

children do not attend secondary school.


Educated Mothers’

children are less likely to be undersized or malnourished. In fact, each additional year of maternal education helps reduce the child mortality rate by 2%.


Educated Girls

and women are less vulnerable to HIV infection, human trafficking and other forms of exploitation and are more likely to marry later and have fewer children. An education can help reduce the spread of infectious diseases.



children are more than twice as likely to be out of school compared with those in countries not affected by conflict.


Education Empowers

women to make healthy decisions about their lives. For example, women in Mali with a secondary-level education or higher have an average of three children, while those with no education have an average of seven.


One Extra School Year

can increase a woman’s earnings by 10% to 20%.



on average per child is required to achieve quality primary education and US$353 per child to achieve lower secondary education.


4 Million

new classrooms are needed in the world's poorest countries to accommodate those who are not in school.


2 Million

more teachers are needed.


33.8 Million

children and adolescents in conflict-affected countries are out of school.


Humanitarian Aid

amounted to only 36% of education funding requests in 2014 compared to 60% for other sectors.


US$38 gap

in finance per child and a US$113 finance gap per adolescent for education in conflict areas.


One Third of Aid Appeals

allocated no humanitarian funding to education.



UNESCO, United Nations, European Commission, Save the Children, Unicef, OECD, Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation, Overseas Development Institute, The World Bank

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