Education in emergencies and crisis

Ensuring learning for all children, including those in emergencies and conflicts

a girl holds up a drawing
UNICEF/Syria/2016/Al-Issa

Education is an undeniable right of children, in times of stability and crisis. UNICEF provides instrumental support to and coordination of education in emergencies and protracted crises and works to ensure learning opportunities for all children, including those out of school or at risk of dropping out due to conflict and protracted crises.

Nearly 3 million school-age Syrian children inside Syria and the five host countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt are left without education. UNICEF co-leads with Save the Children the Syria crisis education response through the Whole of Syria coordination mechanism, and provides technical support to the five Syria crisis-affected countries in emergency response and transition planning (within the framework of the 3RP). UNICEF also manages the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) Investment for Syria which entails coordination and partnerships, policy dialogue, technical support, and monitoring.

The situation of Yemen’s education sector is daunting. Out of 7 million school-aged children, over 2 million children are already out of school. School infrastructure is badly damaged and learning materials are in short supply. One in five schools in Yemen can no longer be used because they are damaged or being used in the fighting or to shelter displaced families. Without a regular salary and due to the conflict and the ongoing economic crisis, teachers have been unable to commute to their schools or had to look for other livelihood opportunities to sustain their families. UNICEF’s incentives for eligible teachers and school-based staff provides the basic means allow them to continue teaching and help prevent more children from dropping out of school.

At the onset of the crisis in western Libya, UNICEF in partnership with the Ministry of Education supported catch- up classes for thousands of internally displaced children during the first half of 2019. These classes enabled children to take the final exams despite the interruption in their schooling. UNICEF mobile teams provided non-formal education to hundreds of displaced children living in collective shelters. To ensure that children’s access to education is not interrupted, UNICEF Libya provided non-formal education, essential learning materials and supplies, rehabilitated schools, and trained teachers on Life Skills and Citizenship Education (LSCE).