Press Release: Gordon Brown Calls for Global Emergency Education Fund

United Nations Education Envoy Gordon Brown has called for a global emergency education fund to be established for children who are out of school because of conflict, disease or natural disasters.

The former UK Prime Minister said: “We need an emergency fund for education when there are humanitarian crises. 

 Brown lambasted governments for not committing enough aid money to Syrian child refugees in Lebanon. $100million has been pledged to help install a country-wide double-shift system but the total needed is still $163million short.

“Lebanon has agreed to find educational places for these children,” Brown said.

“The teachers have been persuaded that they should be taught in Lebanese schools. The teachers have agreed to do double shifts. But the international community has failed to see that for a dollar a day it could provide schools and educational opportunity for all refugee children.”

“We should not have to wait more than a year for help to come when we have a plan and could act immediately. A child needs hope and education and a future.”

“From Gaza and Iraq to Colombia, South Sudan and Thailand, refugees and internally displaced children all deserve hope and opportunity at the onset of a humanitarian crisis. Education cannot wait.”

At the World Bank Spring Meetings in April, Mr. Brown will reiterate the call for ministers to commit more resources to an emergency education fund and he hopes to formally announce its setting up at an Oslo education summit in July. 

Read more at Project Syndicate here.

Gordon Brown portrait 2 crop. Tom Miller, copyright OGSB