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International Partnerships
News announcement12 April 2021Directorate-General for International Partnerships

Education Cannot Wait: EU contributes additional €6.5 million

School Nepal

The European Union (EU) today announced an additional €6.5 million for Education Cannot Wait (ECW), a global fund for the education of children in emergencies and protracted crises launched in 2016. Today’s announcement raises the total EU contribution to the fund to €27.5 million. To date, 40% of Education Cannot Wait funding has come from Team Europe, the EU and its Member States.

Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen said: “Vulnerable children, particularly girls, refugees and displaced children have been the worst hit by COVID. At this critical time, we must protect and increase financing to education. And leverage every partnership, to reach these vulnerable children and bring them back to education. The Education Cannot Wait Fund reaches those hardest to reach. It builds bridges between humanitarian and development efforts. It is a lifeline for children who have slipped through the cracks of education systems. So I am delighted to announce today on behalf of the European Commission an additional 6.5 million euros contribution to the Education Cannot Wait Fund. And I call on other leaders to increase their support to this vital partnership.”

Education Cannot Wait enables governments, multilateral institutions and the private sector to support comprehensive education programmes for crisis-affected children and young people. It was designed to be agile and to reach those most vulnerable, excluded and hard-to-reach, including girls, children with disabilities, minorities and other marginalized children, and to bring them back into national education systems.

Besides supporting education programmes in sudden-onset crises, the fund addresses longer-term needs in protracted crises through multi-year resilience programmes. It enables humanitarian and development actors to work together, to:

  • Provide crisis-affected children access to continuous quality learning
  • Leave no-one behind
  • Ensure the children stay in school until they complete their education
  • Ensure the schools and learning centres offer a safe, protective and healing environment
  • Improve learning outcomes.

For more information

Education Cannot Wait


Publication date
12 April 2021
Directorate-General for International Partnerships