New Global Compact Provides Opportunity to Expand Access to Education for Refugees

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New Global Compact Provides Opportunity to Expand Access to Education for Refugees

September 17, 2018 | | News | GCE-US

September 17, 2018
Contact: Jennifer Rigg, 202.765.2251,

New Global Compact Provides Opportunity to Expand Access to Education for Refugees

The Global Campaign for Education – US, a broad-based coalition of over 80 members dedicated to ensuring universal quality education for all children and youth, urges the U.S. Government to make a political and financial commitment towards refugee education at the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly.

This month, world leaders will gather at the United Nations to adopt a new Global Compact on Refugees. The culmination of a two-year process, the Global Compact on Refugees aims to enhance protection for millions of people who have been forcibly displaced due to war, conflict or persecution.

An important way to ensure protection for refugees is to provide access to quality education. Yet, new figures from the UN Refugee Agency present a significant challenge. Over half of all 7.4 million refugee children – a total of 4 million – are currently out of school. This is an increase of half a million children from 2016.

But there is hope. The new Global Compact on Refugees commits to mobilizing “more direct financial support” to minimize the time refugee children spend out of school and to meeting “the specific education needs of refugees” to overcome current obstacles to enrollment and attendance. Ensuring quality, inclusive education for refugees – especially young people with disabilities and from marginalized groups who face multiple barriers – builds a more secure, peaceful and economically prosperous world for all.

To do this, we are calling on the U.S. Government to pledge their support for the Global Compact on Refugees and commit to additional funding for Education Cannot Wait (ECW) – a critical effort that supports quality education for more than 765,000 children and youth in 17 countries affected by some of the world’s worst crises.

An early supporter of ECW, the U.S. committed $21 million in 2016 to help launch this new initiative. To date, ECW has mobilized a total of $203 million in contributions from 13 donors and supports a wide range of programs that are improving access to education, equity and gender equality, continuity, protection and quality of learning for children and youth affected by conflict around the world.

We thank the U.S. Government for its leadership in prioritizing refugee education in its foreign assistance efforts and urge the U.S. to continue this support by making an additional commitment of resources to Education Cannot Wait. This way, we can take significant steps towards implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees and ensure that all displaced children and youth have access to quality education.

>> Learn more about the High-Level Meeting on Action for Refugee Education.

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