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Promoting access to quality, safe, and relevant education for all persons affected by crisis

Education Cannot Wait: a fund for education in emergencies

For the most up-to-date information about the Education Cannot Wait Fund, including progress reports and advocacy materials, please visit:




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One in four of the world’s school-aged children – 462 million – now live in countries affected by crisis. Of these, 75 million children aged 3-18 years, living in 35 crisis-affected countries, are in desperate need of educational support.

Education for these children has long been neglected, but there is a growing recognition of its central importance. As part of a broad, global efforts to strengthen the response to education in emergencies and protracted crises, INEE led a global consultation to facilitate dialogue and collect inputs from all over the world. This consultation, which ran from 29 January - 12 February 2016, focused on how to operationalise solutions toward a new platform for global EiE work. One of the key outcomes of this consultation was Education Cannot Wait: proposing a fund for education in emergencies, produced by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), which outlined the potential operation of the Education Cannot Wait Fund. 


The Fund

Built on this global consultation and dialogue among a range of stakeholders, The Education Cannot Wait Fund was created as an education crisis fund designed to transform the global education sector, including both humanitarian and development responses. Launched at the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016, the fund aims to deliver a more collaborative, agile, and rapid response to education in emergencies in order to fulfill the right to education for children and young people affected by crises. 

Core Functions of the Fund

Five core functions have been identified for the Fund, each of which directly addresses obstacles which were identified as playing a significant role in preventing or limiting education responses in humanitarian crises:

  1. Inspire political commitment so that education is viewed by both governments and funders as a top priority during crises
  2. Plan and respond collaboratively , with a particular emphasis on enabling humanitarian and development actors to work together on shared objectives
  3. Generate and disburse additional funding to close the $8.5 billion funding gap needed to reach 75 million out­of­school children and youth
  4. Strengthen capacity to respond to crises , nationally and globally, including the ability to coordinate emergency support
  5. Improve accountability by developing and sharing knowledge, including collection of more robust data in order to make better­informed investment decisions, and knowledge of what works

The Education Cannot Wait Fund will scale up resource mobilization over the first five years, commencing with an aim to raise approximately $150 million in the first year and with an ambition to bring funding to a level of $1.5 billion in the fifth year. This involves an overall 5-year fundraising ambition of $3.85 billion.


For more information and to follow the progress of the fund, visit




Header image: Stacy Hughes, INEE