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Partnerships during and after emergencies

© UNICEF/NYHQ2011-2089/Dormino
Students play outside Mamalu Kindergarten et École Fondamentale Mixte (Mamalu Kindergarten and Primary School) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

When a crisis hits, UNICEF works to save lives and provide children with a quality education, both during the emergency and afterward. This requires tremendous resources and complex logistical coordination with strong, collaborative partners. UNICEF continues to build new partnerships and strengthen existing ones. Cooperation among energized partners in a global community is essential to alleviate suffering and provide assistance during crises and their aftermath.

At the international level, two partnerships stand out:

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee Cluster for Education in Emergencies is part of United Nations efforts to improve the effectiveness of humanitarian relief. UNICEF and Save the Children are the lead agencies for the education cluster. At the country level, the cluster’s task is to clarify roles, responsibilities and accountability of United Nations and other partners working to restore schooling in specific crises. The cluster also seeks to improve coordination among partners working to rebuild education systems in the early recovery period.

The Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) is a global network of over 9000 practitioners, students, teachers and staff from United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations, donors, governments, and universities. They work together to ensure children’s right to education is realized during emergencies and in the early recovery period.

The network engages in advocacy, coordinates capacity-building opportunities, disseminates information, and develops technical resources. INEE developed Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies, Chronic Crises and Early Reconstruction. These standards, applied in emergencies around the world, also include tools for their promotion, training, monitoring and evaluation.

The network is managed by a small secretariat supported by an inter-agency steering group, of which UNICEF is a member.

Education Cannot Wait Advocacy Working Group

UNICEF is working to ensure every child realizes their right to education as a member of the Education Cannot Wait initiative. 

In 2012, key global leaders representing countries affected by crisis, donor agencies and humanitarian agencies validated the Education Cannot Wait Call to Action. They committed to:

  • plan to prevent and minimise interruptions to education through integrating emergency preparedness and response into national education sector plans and budgets
  • prioritise children’s education during emergencies and allocate adequate levels of humanitarian aid to education response
  • protect education from attack and end the military use and occupation of schools and universities by armed forces and armed groups during conflict.

In addition, in 2012, UN member states signed up to protect and fulfil the right to education for all children affected by conflict and emergencies through the UN Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative.

In 2013, global leaders gathered at the UN in New York to add their support and express their commitments to take the Education Cannot Wait agenda forward. Governments, UN agencies, multilateral institutions, business leaders and civil society organisations all pledged to increase efforts to ensure children affected by humanitarian crises do not forfeit their right to education in such contexts.




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