UNITED NATIONS, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Education Cannot Wait's (ECW) COVID-19 emergency response has reached over 9 million vulnerable girls and boys "in the midst of the worst education crisis of our lifetime," the fund said in a press release Wednesday.
The ECW said that within days of the declaration of the pandemic one year ago, the fund rapidly allocated 23 million U.S. dollars in COVID-19 emergency grants to support continuous access to learning opportunities and to protect the health and well-being of girls and boys living in emergencies and protracted crises.
Shortly after, the ECW continued to scale up its response with a second allocation of 22.4 million dollars, specifically focusing on refugees, internally displaced and host community children and youths, it added.
"During COVID-19, our investments have been life-sustaining for children and youth enduring crisis and conflict around the world. Despite the pandemic, our government partners, civil society and UN colleagues have been working hand in hand with communities to deliver remote learning and continued education in safe and protective learning environments," said the ECW director Yasmine Sherif.
In total, the ECW's COVID-19 emergency grants target 32 million vulnerable children and youths, with girls accounting for over 50 percent, in over 30 countries affected by armed conflict, forced displacement, climate-related disasters and other crises, according to the press release.
The ECW, hosted by the UN Children's Fund, is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies.
It was launched by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to address the urgent education needs of 75 million children and youths in conflict and crisis settings.