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Uganda’s School Plan for Refugee Children Could Become a Global Template

During the coronavirus lockdown and subsequent school closures, close to 15 million girls and boys, including children living in refugee settlements across this East African nation, were affected. And while pupils in their final years of school, estimated at 1.2 million, returned last month, more than 13 million remain at home, with some still unable to access learning materials. The most vulnerable among these children include refugee children, according to international charity, Save the Children, Uganda hosts the largest number of refugees on the continent. Uganda’s Primary Education under the Education Response Plan for Refugees and Host Communities in Uganda (ERP), facilitated by Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is the first of its kind globally, it was launched two years ago by the Ugandan government together with local and international humanitarian and development partners. It targets children and youth in 12 refugee-hosting districts in Uganda where more than half a million children are currently out of learning and out of school. ECW is appealing to public and private donors to urgently mobilise $400 million globally. With these resources, ECW will continue to fund emergency education support during the COVID-19 pandemic and in other sudden onset crises, and help develop and roll out multi-year response plans for refugees and other children and youth in a total of 25 protracted crises around the globe.