EU commits 10% of aid spend to education in emergencies

EU commits 10% of aid spend to education in emergencies

The European Union has set new targets to spend 10% of its humanitarian aid to education in emergencies in 2019.

The commitment follows criticisms by numerous aid agencies that education in emergencies funding was alarmingly low, accounting for just 3% of total emergency aid spending. The announcement was made as the European Commission published its first policy on education in emergencies.

Since 2012 EU’s spending on education in emergencies has risen; between 2012 and 2014 this figure was €12 million compared to over €275 million between 2015 and 2018. In 2018 8% of humanitarian spending will support education in emergencies.

Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner, commented:

“Strengthening systems and partnerships for a rapid, efficient, effective and innovative education response; promoting access, inclusion and equity; championing education for peace and protection; [and] supporting quality education for better learning outcomes.”

Noting the importance of the commitment, Christos added:

“Education is the most chronically underfunded sector in emergencies. Almost 75 million [school-aged] children have their education disrupted in emergencies and crises — a shocking number —  in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, DRC, South Sudan. The list unfortunately is long and unfortunately keeps growing.”

It is estimated that between 2012-2018 5.5 million children across 52 countries benefited from EU funding to education in emergencies.

Earlier this year Save the Children reported that 90,000 children in East Africa alone were at risk of dropping out of school each week due to conflict and disaster.

Jonathan Beger, World Vision director of EU Advocacy, commented on the announcement:

“[It’s] excellent news for those of us who work with children for whom a lack of education and schooling is a matter of life and death”

World Vision estimate that across the world 263 million children are not in school, and most of these live in areas of instability. In addition, in crisis affected communities girls are 2.5% more likely to not receive an education.


Our Annual AIDF Global Summit returns for its 10th year on 5-6 September 2018 in Washington D.C., United States. The summit will discuss key issues in global development.

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