Africa and the EU

Global Refugee Forum - High-Level Dialogue on Education - Speech by EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič

Brussels, 18/12/2019 - 00:00, UNIQUE ID: 200113_7
Statements on behalf of the EU

Global Refugee Forum - High-Level Dialogue on Education Geneva, 18 December 2019 Speech by EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič

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“What important role can donor governments play in aligning humanitarian and development programming?”


Allow me to make three brief points.


First: in emergencies, there is no simple dividing line between development and humanitarian assistance. School years do not wait for a new development programming period to start. So as donors we need to use both humanitarian and development funding. This may sound like common sense. But only a few years ago, many humanitarian donors were reluctant to fund education. For the European Union, I particularly want to pay tribute to the role played by my predecessor, Christos Stylianides, in bringing education into the mainstream of our humanitarian funding.


But humanitarian and development funding also need to be coordinated. Which takes me to my second point. The need for complementarity between humanitarian and development actions. Because humanitarian budgets are limited. And today’s refugee crises are more and more protracted.


I was very happy to hear the Vice-Minister from Turkey just now. One example of how we work towards complementarity: in Turkey, we support a humanitarian programme of ‘complementary cash transfers for education’ – linked to our cash transfer scheme for 1.7 million refugees. And at the same time, with longer-term funding, we are partnering with the Turkish authorities to strengthen the capacity of the Turkish education system to cater for refugee children.


My third point concerns funding. We need to ‘walk the walk’. As EU, we have increased the share of education in our humanitarian funding from 1% in 2015 to 10% in 2019. More than 450 million euros for education in emergencies since 2015. And since 2016, 1.8 billion euros in development and humanitarian support for education in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon alone.


So, to sum up: humanitarian and development donors both have their role – but it needs to be well synchronized. And it needs to be properly resourced. Thank you.


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