Britain announces additional funding for ECW amid COVID-19 outbreak

Britain has announced a 5-million-pound (6.26 million U.S. dollars) contribution to Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the global fund for education in emergencies, a press release said Monday.

The new funds will support ECW’s rapid deployment of emergency education services for children and youth caught in crises and emergencies, it said.

“With this timely support, we can mitigate the impact and sustain protection through emergency or virtual education combined with health measures for students and teachers,” said ECW Director Yasmine Sherif.

Seventy-five million children and youth, including 39 million girls, are already impacted by armed conflicts, forced displacement, natural disasters and protracted crises, and they now face a double crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the press release.

A rapid assessment by ECW paints an alarming picture of the massive impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on already severely strained educational systems, said the press release.

There is an acute shortage of distance learning tools and materials, many communities lack awareness and information and are failing to implement protective measures, teacher’s salaries are going unpaid, families are being pushed further into hunger and poverty, school feeding programs are being disrupted, and children are being pushed to the side with limited opportunities to return to safe learning environments when the pandemic subsides, it said.