Julia Gillard on the need to prioritise refugee education

Project Syndicate Julia Gillard article snapshotFor three years until June 2013, Julia Gillard was the Prime Minister of Australia from June 2010-2013. Having retired from politics, she now chairs the Global Partnership for Education. Writing for Project Syndicate [registration may be required to read full article] she argues:

“… the tragic truth is that the Syrian crisis is the tip of an enormous – and expanding – iceberg. Many other refugee crises around the world never make it into the international headlines. Indeed, a staggering 86% of the world’s refugees live in developing countries, most of which draw very little media attention.”

Rudd highlights the situation in Chad, a central African country with a population of 13 million that “hosts more than 372,000 refugees”.

However, problems are common across the world. And while “humanitarian emergencies and protracted crises disrupted the education of more than 80 million children and youth in 35 countries in 2015 … humanitarian responses too often give lower priority – and thus far fewer resources – to education than, say, basic health, shelter, and nutrition”.

“In fact, only about 2% of humanitarian aid goes to education.”

The former politician finishes her article:

“Conflict and fragility, not only in Syria, but also in many other lesser-known sites of mass misery, are among the most urgent and seemingly intractable global challenges of our time. Our only hope of breaking out of this cycle of violence and poverty is to ensure that every child, including those trapped by crisis, gets quality schooling and the ability to build a brighter future.”