N’DJAMENA, Chad, May 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Following Education Cannot Wait’s (ECW) high-level field mission with UNHCR to the border regions of Chad with Sudan where 60,000 refugees have arrived recently, ECW Executive Director Yasmine Sherif announced a US$3 million First Emergency Response grant.
The funding will provide access to safe and protective learning environments for incoming refugee girls and boys and support the host communities. The new grant brings ECW’s total investments in Chad to over US$41 million.
Since the conflict erupted in Sudan on 15 April, over 200,000 people have crossed the borders to the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Sudan. UNHCR estimates that this number could reach 860,000 as a result of the escalating conflict.
Almost 70% of pre-registered refugees are children. Without access to safe and protective learning environments, they face higher risks of child marriage, sexual violence, exploitation, hunger, recruitment into armed groups and attacks.
“It is imperative to provide immediate access to education for children and adolescents crossing to neighboring countries to flee the brutal conflict in Sudan. This might become a protracted crisis and the safety net of education is crucial to empower them, protect them and safeguard their futures,” Sherif said.
The new 12-month First Emergency Response grant will be implemented by UNHCR and its partners, in close coordination with the Government of Chad.
“I invite partners to support the Government of Chad to ensure that Sudanese refugees fleeing the armed conflict enjoy the fundamental right of an education, which also contributes to reinforcing protection, resilience and social cohesion within the communities. By doing so, we are operationalizing the 2030 Education Strategy, which promotes the full inclusion of refugees into the Chadian education system,” said Mrs. Guemdje Liliane, Secretary of State, Ministry of Education.
“We need to act now and collectively in support to the Chadian Government for an emergency response to the education needs to allow children to enjoy the right to education and protect them against various risks,” said Laura Lo Castro, UNHCR Representative in Chad.
The new grant comes as ECW’s initial contribution to the $445 million inter-agency Regional Refugee Response Plan launched by UNHCR and 134 partners to address the Sudan refugee regional crisis in the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Sudan. ECW is working with its partners to mobilize further support against this appeal.