Education in Crisis and Conflict

Ugandan girls reading during the UNITY program
Ugandan girls reading during the UNITY program. UNITY is Uganda's cornerstone education program. UNITY has contributed to enhancing the quality of education for an estimated 7 million primary school children.
Garrett McIndoe/Creative Associates

Crisis and conflict negatively affect the education of 80 million children. During major conflicts and crises, children do not go to school—and the longer they’re out, the less likely they are to ever go back. Not only is school necessary for their continued education, but it also provides them with emotional and physical protection while their worlds are in chaos.

USAID’s programs expand equitable access to education for children and youth in crisis and conflict-affected environments by:

  • Providing  safe learning opportunities for students and teachers, especially for the most vulnerable such as girls, children living with disabilities, displaced populations and ethnic minorities.
  • Rebuilding education systems, including the teaching corps, and improving the management of school systems.
  • Preventing and mitigating conflict and crisis through conflict -sensitive education programs community engagement, education reforms and disaster-risk reduction activities.

Progress to Date

From 2011 to 2015, USAID education programs have improved or established quality education in safe learning environments for a total of 11.8 million individual children and youth in crisis and conflict environments (5.6 million female, 6.2 million male). Providing these children and youth with a safe education restores familiar routines, provides caring support, engages them in opportunities to learn, and rebuilds their hope for the future during a time of uncertainty and instability.

Here are some examples:

  • In Nepal, following a terrible earthquake in 2015, USAID programming created 1,000 temporary learning centers to keep children in school.
  • In Nigeria, In response to unpredictable violent insurgency in the northeastern part of the country, USAID created 400 non-formal learning centers that allowed 14,300 students basic literacy, numeracy and social-emotional skills, and rebuild their lives.
  • In Jordan, through the Let Girls Learn initiative, USAID funded a $100 million program to build an estimated 55 girls’ school across Jordan and  rehabilitate and expand 80 girls’ schools. improving the quality of learning for girls and providing them access to improved sports facilities.

Learn More

Read more about USAID’s programs:

See how USAID is partnering to make a difference in global education:

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Last updated: June 22, 2017

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