At the 8th MIKTA Foreign Ministers Meeting in Sydney in November 2016, the Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, alongside counterpart Foreign Ministers from Mexico, Indonesia, Korea and Turkey initiated an innovation challenge focused on increasing access to education in emergencies, particularly for girls.
Why focus on education in emergencies
The need for attention to education in emergencies is great. During crises, children and youth frequently live in, or are displaced to contexts where governments cannot provide them with education services.
Currently, 75 million children and young people (3-18yo) are out of school in 35 crisis-affected countries due to wars, natural disasters and other emergencies. As a result of gender stereotypes and other factors, girls are 2.5 times more likely to be out of school than boys.
Emergency funding and priority is often focussed on more urgent threats to life such as food, water, shelter and protection. Education receives less than 2% of humanitarian aid, leaving an essential component of children’s future prospects underfunded and undervalued.
What do we hope to get out of the challenge
Emergencies severely compound the number, scale and complexity of issues in education service delivery. Given such complexities, a challenge model allows practitioners to bring a diversity of actors, ideas, perspectives and networks into the table – generating higher impact programs and creating innovative solutions that may not have previously emerged using traditional requests for proposal funding models.
Ultimately, we are aiming to bring new approaches and consortia of partners together to transform the education opportunities on the ground for children and young people in emergency settings.
MIKTA is a relatively new partnership initiated by the Foreign Minister’s of Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey and Australia.
Given the diversity of historical, geographical and social perspectives that MIKTA countries bring to the table, there’s much that we can achieve together that would be difficult, or impossible, to do own our own.
The Education in Emergencies Challenge is a mark of MIKTA Foreign Ministers’ keen interests in MIKTA playing an active role to address important global challenges.
Photo Credit: Conor Ashleigh for AusAID