Central African Republic to benefit from emergency funding to support children displaced by conflict

By Wallace Mawire

Central African Republic's president-Faustin-Archange Touadera
Central African Republic’s president-Faustin-Archange Touadera

The Central African Republic (CAR) is one of the African countries that will benefit from a humanitarian support handshake to support children caught up in conflict situations.

It is reported that in response to the humanitarian crises in Bangladesh and the Central African Republic, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) will provide US$14.6 million in emergency funding to support the education of tens of thousands of children displaced by conflict and violence.

Under GPE’s accelerated funding policy, the GPE Board approved last month’s request for US$8.3 million from the Government of Bangladesh for the schooling of Rohingya refugees and children in surrounding communities in Bangladesh.

The Board also approved a request from the Government of the Central African Republic for US$6.3 million to support children whose education has been affected by civil war.

It is added that this follows US$6 million in accelerated funding already approved in August to support children caught up in conflict in South Sudan.

“This emergency funding for refugee and displaced children follows a commitment from both governments to step up efforts and ensure the right to education for every child,” said Julia Gillard, Board Chair, Global Partnership for Education. “GPE worked with humanitarian and development partners to ensure that the immediate education needs of children are met while focusing on the longer-term goal of strengthening their education systems.”

“Children’s lives depend on getting a quality education and every month lost takes years to recover”, said Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnership for Education.” The GPE model has the flexibility to restructure funding support to help countries and regions to strengthen and rebuild their education systems and
ensure that children can learn safely during and after crisis.”

Support for displaced children in the Central African Republic (CAR) In CAR, the civil war has deprived an estimated 500,000 children of schooling. School buildings are destroyed, many of which have been attacked by armed groups and teachers have fled. Families have been displaced, and children are highly vulnerable to recruitment into
armed groups, crime, sexual abuse, child marriage and early pregnancy.

GPE’s accelerated funding will provide pre-primary and primary students with a range of interventions, including classrooms in areas where displaced families are located, learning materials, meals, water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure and additional teachers as well as training for them. Displaced children and children from
surrounding communities will benefit from the support. UNICEF is the GPE grant agent in CAR.

More than half of GPE’s funding supports children’s education during crisis GPE finances education interventions that accompany children throughout a country’s progress from preparedness to recovery to reduce the impact of crisis. About 60 percent of GPE’s funding is for the schooling of children affected by conflict and fragility,
including refugee children. GPE also promotes better coordination and dialogue between humanitarian and development actors.

Conflict, fragility and humanitarian crisis are among the biggest barriers that keep children from getting an education. Twice as many children living in these contexts are out of school than their counterparts in non-conflict countries; two-thirds as many adolescents don’t get schooling.

More than 90 percent of refugee children live in developing countries where the school infrastructure is already weak. As a result, only 60 percent of refugee children are enrolled in primary school, compared
to more than 90 percent globally. Globally, education in emergencies receives just 2.7% of humanitarian aid.

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