Education Above All Foundation and UNHCR partner to enrol more out-of-school, refugee children

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and global development organization Education Above All (EAA) Foundation have signed a new, five-year agreement aimed at addressing the global challenge of out-of-school children (OOSC), including refugees, internally displaced people and host community children. The new agreement builds on the success of enrolling more than 1.6 million OOSC in 14 countries globally since 2012.

The strategic partnership agreement signed in Doha by UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, and EAA Foundation CEO, Fahad Al Sulaiti, will focus on supporting, promoting, and protecting the right to education for children and youth, especially in conflict-affected countries. The partnership will expand access to quality education for many more vulnerable children worldwide. This initiative aligns closely with Sustainable Development Goal 4, which advocates for inclusive and quality education for all by 2030.

“There are more than 7 million refugee children currently out of school who will be left behind if they do not have access to education,” said Grandi. “This is why Education Above All Foundation’s ongoing commitment to education is so critical to ensure the right to education for all children forced to flee. Together, we are opening doors to new opportunities and brighter futures for refugee children.”

Commenting on the partnership, Al Sulaiti stated: “The alliance between UNHCR and EAA Foundation is a testament to the power of strong partnerships. Together, we have achieved remarkable results. Education knows no boundaries; it is key to unlocking potential and shaping brighter futures for all.  Through our joint efforts, we are working to create a world where equality and opportunity in education are more readily available; enriching lives and transforming communities.”

In addition to increased OOSC enrolment, joint projects between EAA and UNHCR have demonstrated varied and significant impact through policy change in a number of countries, increased community resources through the construction of new schools and classrooms, employment opportunities, teacher training, and financial/material support to children and their families.  The collaboration has also facilitated sports programmes to boost enrolment and retention, enhance well-being and foster social cohesion and inclusion.

Global advocacy to raise awareness of the importance of education for refugees and promote the accreditation of their qualifications has also been an important component of the partnership.

EAA and UNHCR aim to continue working at scale with impacts reaching beyond core OOSC enrolments to include policy enhancements and improvements in education systems, alongside ongoing advocacy and continued support for the recognition of refugee education qualifications. 

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