Geneva hub to aid worldwide emergency education

"World in Progress" – the ephemeral landart painting by Swiss-French artist Saype showing two children drawing their ideal world in front of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland (pictured on June 24, 2020) Keystone / Valentin Flauraud

Millions of children around the world can’t go to school, but a Swiss-based platform has set out to change that.

This content was published on January 26, 2021 - 12:34

The Geneva Global Hub for Education in Emergencies aims to help the 127 million children who do without schooling because of humanitarian crises.

Its official launch was on Monday, after Switzerland pledged to establish Geneva as such a hub at the 2019 Global Refugee Forum.

“More than 40% of the 80 million displaced people are children; the majority of these children have no access to education, resulting in a lack of prospects, increased violence against children and lost generations,” stated the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFR) in a press releaseExternal link. “Humanitarian emergencies are on the rise owing to climate change and its consequences; conflicts; and not least COVID-19.” It pointed out that education was one of the sectors getting the least recognition and funding in humanitarian disasters.

“With regard to education in emergencies, International Geneva has the hitherto untapped potential of a platform that promotes cross-sectoral cooperation with a view to creating educational opportunities on the ground for young people affected by crises and displacement,” said the FDFR. The education hub will be both a virtual and physical platform linking the education sector to other relevant areas, such as healthcare and human rights.

Education is a priority of Switzerland’s International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24, which is derived from the foreign policy strategy.

“Protecting the most vulnerable population groups in crisis and displacement contexts and safeguarding the provision of quality basic services – in particular education and healthcare – is one of the four main objectives of the current international cooperation strategy,” stated the FDFR, adding that “It is in Switzerland’s interests to reduce the causes of displacement and irregular migration and to guarantee quality basic services on the ground.”

International Geneva is home to the United Nations Office at Geneva, 38 international groups, the permanent representations of 177 UN member states, 750 NGOs, and several leading academic institutions.

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