Dubai Cares yesterday participated in the Oslo Summit on Education for Development in Norway with the aim of discussing issues critical to achieving universal access to quality education.
The summit, convened by the Government of Norway in collaboration with UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, brought together heads of states and governments from developing and developed countries, ministers, heads of UN agencies and regional organisations, members of the business community and civil society.
The Dubai Cares delegation, led by Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares also attended a high-level meeting that took place on the sidelines of the Summit, co-organised by UN Special Envoy for Global Education, the Global Partnership for Education, GPE, and United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF, in coordination with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs .
During this meeting, attendees discussed the creation of a Global Humanitarian Fund for Education in Emergencies, which aims to protect the most vulnerable children and get them back in school. The fund also aims to strengthen existing mechanisms, rapidly coordinate and deliver education in emergencies, and leverage new finance.
More than 20 million children are currently being denied an education because they live in conflict and disaster zones and despite the growing numbers of children caught up in tragedy, in 2014, only 1% of overall humanitarian aid and 2% of humanitarian appeals was spent on education.
Speaking during the summit, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares, said, "We are inspired by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's firm belief that education is the most effective tool to break the cycle of poverty. To achieve this, a greater focus needs to be placed on the fragile and conflict affected states and situations".
He noted that according to the World Bank, people in fragile and conflicted-affected situations are more than twice as likely to be under-nourished as those in other developing countries, more than three times as likely to be unable to send their children to school, twice as likely to see their children die before age five, and more than twice as likely to lack clean water.
"This makes the needs of children living in fragile states an urgent priority for us. Our presence at the summit has enabled us to contribute our technical know-how on this and other matters as well as to engage with like-minded organisations for potential collaboration, building on our guiding principle of working through partnerships," he added.
The summit, which was also attended by the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, focused on issues that needed to be resolved urgently in order to reach the 58 million children still being denied their right to education.
The main topics under discussion spanned four key issues; education in emergencies, investment in education, quality of education and girls' education. Experts assembled discussed solutions aimed at mobilising strong and renewed political commitment to universal education, strengthening learning outcomes, reversing the negative trend in international support for education and enhancing domestic resource mobilisation.
Over the past seven years, Dubai Cares, with the support of the UAE community, has been facilitating change and development in children's education in developing communities around the globe. Dubai Cares programmes are currently reaching more than 13 million beneficiaries in 39 developing countries.