On Tuesday 29th November, the APPG on Global Education hosted a private roundtable to discuss the Education Cannot Wait’s (ECW) 222 Million Dreams campaign. Harriett Baldwin MP, Co-Chair of the APPG, was delighted to welcome the distinguished panel; Yasmine Sherif (Director of Education Cannot Wait) and Judith Herbertson (Head of Girls Education, FCDO). The panel also included Sarah Amu (Youth 4 Education in Emergencies) and Evie and Anneka (Send My Friend campaign champions).
The panel discussed the significance of the UK pledging £170 million to Education Cannot Wait in order to support the next 4 years of ECW’s efforts in crisis settings. Yasmine Sherif, explained that ‘ECW brings together Save the Children, Plan International, UNICEF and others to create one cohesive programme to establish the fundamental support for education in crisis settings’ She highlighted that ‘ECW is well known for its accountability and transparency and two independent evaluations have rated ECW has a model of example and model for UN and multilateral excellence.’
However, the UK has had its ODA budget reduced to 0.5% of GNO and this is inevitably affecting the level of financial commitments it will make. Responding to a question from Imran Hussain MP, Yasmine Sherif explained that ‘the UK was a co-founder of ECW and has always been a leader in supporting educational rights of all children, even if they no longer want to be the top donor, they must remain amongst the top donors to have an impact and retain its global leadership.’
Judith Herbertson, Head of Girls Education, FCDO affirmed ‘When we say foundational literacy and numeracy for all, we really do mean for all. Not just for those in stable environments but for those in crisis situations. ECW can reach the locations that we cannot.’
Youth advocates from Youth 4 EiE and Send My Friend campaign champions, discussed their support for children in crisis settings and what it would mean to them for the UK to pledge £170 million to ECW. Evie, SMF campaign champion, said ‘we are today today, not just representing the 222 cloud dreams from our school but the thousands of youth and schools across the country that believe in the rights of children in EiE.
The APPG Global Education, would like to extend its sincere thanks to Yasmine Sherif, Judith Herbertson and all those in attendance. Despite the rain and gloomy weather, it was great to meet together in Parliament again to discuss what is such an important element of global education.