(Vatican Radio) The launch of the ‘Education Cannot Wait’ fund at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, was welcomed by many of those who have spent months and years campaigning for it.
The announcement at the Summit was heralded as a game-changer for a generation of young people impacted by emergencies and crises - locked out of opportunity and hope for a brighter future.
One of the most active and vocal groups working to provide educational services to refugees is the Jesuit Refugee Service that sent a delegation to the Summit to present a series of commitments.
Vatican Radio’s Linda Bordoni spoke to Giulia McPherson, Assistant Director for Policy at Jesuit Refugee Service USA.
McPherson expressed her happiness that the Summit has focused on education as a priority area in emergencies and protracted crises. The launch of the ‘Education Cannot Wait’ fund combined with global momentum presents a “tremendous opportunity to galvanize the global community” and to “boost the amount of resources for growth” in education services.
During the lead up to the Summit, Mcpherson spoke about the “robust consultative process” between all involved parties, allowing for all those interested to “weigh in and provide thoughts on what the fund should like and who it should serve” but above all, how best to devise it.
Despite its status as a faith-based organization, McPherson stressed that the work of the JRS serves “people of all faiths”, many of whom are not Christian. She also spoke about the importance of working in countries which had been forgotten, particularly in Africa, where people are some of the most vulnerable.
As a result of the longevity of these crisis situations in Africa, there is a “fatigue in terms of being able to invest in programming” and the interest of governments is continuing to diminish. With education only receiving 2% of humanitarian funding, McPherson said that she hoped “this convening will allow us to highlight and draw attention to some of these forgotten crises”.
With education being at the heart of the work of the JRS for more than 35 years, McPherson stressed that the JRS will continue to invest in long term sustainable solutions to crises in order to provide refugees and displaced persons with the opportunity of a future.
For more infomation on JRS's "Mercy in Motion" campaign click here.