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newsEU increases humanitarian aid budget for education of children in emergencies

Brussels, 20 September 2017

Access to education for children in emergency situations is among the top priorities for the EU in its humanitarian funding.

The European Commission has announced today it will further increase the part of humanitarian funding dedicated to getting children into education in crisis zones around the world. In 2018, 8% of the EU's humanitarian budget will go to education in emergencies, which is far above the global average of less than 3%.

"The EU is a global leader in supporting education in emergencies. Concretely this means giving children in some of the most difficult situations in the world an opportunity for the future. As I have travelled to many crises zones, from refugee camps to areas devastated by natural disasters, it is always clear that education is much more than a human right or a basic need. It is safety, dignity and a shield against radicalisation. By supporting education we are making the biggest investment we can in the future of the most vulnerable. We are investing in peace." said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides during a High Level Education Event, organised in the margins of the UN General Assembly 2017 in New York.

The EU's contribution in 2018 of over €86 million will support access to formal and non-formal education, including life skills and vocational training, recreational activities and psychosocial support for girls and boys in crisis areas around the world. Several EU projects will be focussed on girls; giving them access to education and helping them learn life and vocational skills. Children will also benefit from the provision of school materials and the creation of new learning spaces. Teachers and parents will also be supported and benefit from training.

Commissioner Stylianides has made education in emergencies a priority since the beginning of his mandate, continuing to increase the EU's financial support to education projects for children affected by crises every year since he took office. EU support allocated to education in emergencies went from 1% of its humanitarian budget in 2015 to 6% in 2017 and will eventually go to 8% in 2018. This aid has reached 4 million children and teachers in 50 countries between 2012-2016.

The EU's humanitarian aid will be channelled through non-governmental organisations, United Nations agencies and International Organisations to reach the most vulnerable.


Today, some 75 million children living in crisis-affected countries and forced displacement lack access to quality education.

By the end of 2016, nearly 4 million boys and girls in 50 countries around the world have benefitted from these in Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Venezuela and Yemen.

EU-funded educational activities are tailored to take into account the different needs of children based on their age, gender and other specific circumstances.

In March 2017, the EU launched its largest ever humanitarian programme for education in emergencies. This €34 million Conditional Cash Transfer Programme will enable some 230, 000 refugee children to attend school in Turkey.

For more information

Factsheet on Education in Emergencies

The European Commission's European civil protection and humanitarian aid

IP/17/3273 Copyright European Union