Education in emergencies showcased at the first European Humanitarian Forum – World
The Geneva Global Hub for Education in Emergencies brings the perspective of three humanitarian crises to a high-level political forum
Geneva, March 21, 2022 – The Global Hub for Education in Emergencies in Geneva has organized an online humanitarian conference as part of the first-ever European Humanitarian Forum, which will take place in Brussels from March 21-23.
Ambassador Felix Baumann, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN, opened the event with a call for greater commitment to education in emergencies, “which remains an under-contracted and under-funded part of the humanitarian response”. He reiterated Switzerland’s continued commitment to meeting this challenge.
The event saw contributions from several frontline humanitarian professionals, including one in Romania helping to manage the influx of Ukrainian arrivals to the European Union, another in Venezuela and a third in South Sudan working with emergencies ongoing humanitarian efforts in these places. A fourth Porticus contributor spoke from the perspective of a donor organization.
They explained how education and child protection go hand in hand to help at-risk children and young people cope with the threats of conflict and other emergencies. Displaced children and those caught up in crises face challenges, such as those related to mental health, child marriage, forced child labor to support themselves and their families, and recruitment into armed groups or gangs.
“Child protection and education actors work in the same communities, addressing the interrelated and overlapping needs of children,” said Dieuwerke Luiten, Global Grants Manager at Porticus. “EiE responses cannot ignore protection and well-being, while child-friendly spaces cannot ignore learning. By bringing sectors together, we can meet the holistic needs of children and promote their well-being .
“Education cannot operate in a vacuum,” said Lucy Mbarago, Yambio Field Officer, UNICEF South Sudan. “Schools should work with traditional leadership structures, faith groups and mothers’ groups to build sustainable learning and child protection systems.”
Mariana Arnautu, Senior Expert, Education and Child Protection Programs at World Vision International, highlighted the importance of welcoming children with special needs in crises such as the one currently engulfing Ukraine and the neighboring countries: “It is important that schools are supported with additional staff and resources to enable integration – including professionals who can meet the needs of refugee or displaced children. Teachers cannot be social workers, psychiatrists, etc. at the same time. They need the support of professionals in these areas.
Henry Renna Gallano, Education Cluster Coordinator, Venezuela, summed up the need for broad collaboration: “It may be obvious, but the clusters (education, child protection, health, etc.) are just our structures – the crisis itself is not organized by clusters We need to move beyond cluster thinking and organize across sectors to provide a common set of services for mental health, MHPSS, education and child protection.
Several speakers also underlined the urgent need to actively seek more constructive collaboration between sectors of the humanitarian response, not least because the lack of coordination can lead to different priorities competing with each other, which is detrimental to to the overall effectiveness of the interventions.
Mark Chapple, Education Officer at the ICRC, who closed the event, emphasized that: “Protecting children and protecting education during conflict begins with physical protection from attack. Where the ICRC works, we engage with all parties involved in a conflict to remind them of their obligations.
About the Geneva Global Hub for Education in Emergencies
The Geneva Global Hub for Education in Emergencies is a physical and virtual platform that aims to be a catalyst for joint action among members and to increase collaboration with other sectors to prioritize education in emergencies. emergency. It harnesses the expertise and capacities of the diplomatic, humanitarian, development, migration, human rights, protection, climate and peace communities of international Geneva, as well as the commitment of governments and universities, to come together for transformative joint action. The Hub promotes policy dialogue, synergies and multi-stakeholder partnerships, and inspires political and financial commitment to ensure the continuity of education and the delivery of safe and quality education to children and young people affected by the crisis. and moved. Learn more at www.eiehub.org.
Communication specialist for the Geneva Global Hub for Education in Emergencies
Email: [email protected]