Throughout history, wars and famine have left millions starving or destitute. The world has chiefly responded to major humanitarian crises by supplying aid and emergency relief in the form of food, shelter or refuge.
As a result of conflict, instability and poverty, we are seeing a global education crisis unfold. Despite efforts to provide education for all there are still over 260 million children and youth out of school. This problem is complex and far reaching.
The education crisis will have devastating global long term consequences. Without immediate action, over half of the upcoming youth generation - 825 million of the 1.6 billion young people in 2030 - will be left behind and shut out of opportunities. A devastating outcome, which would leave us far from meeting the U. N.'s education Sustainable Development Goal 4 committed to quality education for all.
How will the global education crisis impact future generations? It will result in unemployment, poverty, inequality, and instability. It will leave millions of people unable to reach their full potential. Education gives opportunity, and a chance to break out of poverty and to contribute positively to society. The resulting skills gap will also stunt economic growth, with social, security and political repercussions reverberating worldwide.
Over the past five years, Education Above All Foundation (EAA) has worked with various partners to pioneer new approaches to protecting the most vulnerable children on our planet. We work with governments, multilateral agencies, development banks, private sector and civil society organisations.
EAA Foundation, a member of the UNESCO SDG Education 2030 steering committee, works to provide quality education for the world's most marginalized children and youth. To date, we have commitments to provide primary education opportunities to 7.2 million children worldwide, with a goal of reaching 10 million. Our four programmes: Reach Out to Asia (ROTA), Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC), Educate A Child (EAC) and Al Fakhoora encompass empowering youth to deliver in their communities, legal advocacy, provision of quality primary education and holistic education and training programmes.
This week in partnership with UNICEF USA, EAA Foundation has announced a new project to enable a further 95,000 children affected by the ongoing conflict in Syria to access quality education, with co-financing from the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD). This brings the total number of out of school children affected by Syrian crisis, reached by the EAA Foundation, to 1.2 million. We have also agreed partnerships that will change the lives of children in Angola and Pakistan, contributing to our goal of supporting 10 million out of school children worldwide.
Partnerships are the way forward in reaching a greater number of marginalized children and youth and help to overcome barriers to education.
War and conflict are targeting schools, teachers and students, and tearing down efforts faster than we can rebuild. Extreme poverty is also undermining our attempts to provide quality education. Climate change is another concern, among other factors.
Fundamentally, unless the root causes are tackled, we will not succeed in our goal of averting this global crisis. EAA Foundation delivers education to the world's most marginalized children- but with this group growing at an alarming rate, world leaders must do more to ensure peace and sustainable human development. For the sake of our future, we call on world leaders to leave a legacy worthy of our children.