Somalilandsun: In April this year The Education Cannot Wait Global Fund (ECW) allocated a total of US$15 million in an initial series of emergency grants for the rapid delivery of holistic education services to protect and support vulnerable children and youth hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in 16 countries/emergency contexts.
Among the recipient countries is Somaliland which has been allocated $700,000 through UNICEF which shall manage them.
According to Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, Chair of Education Cannot Wait’s High-level Steering Group and UN Special Envoy for Global Education “1.5 billion children are out of school. The majority of the 31 million children uprooted from their homes today – including over 17 million internally displaced, 12.7 million refugees and 1.1 million asylum seekers – are at great risk,”
While foreign donors have always passed their contribution to Somaliland through the Federal government of Somalia which is never welcomed considering the political acrimonies prevalent between the two formerly united countries, the ECA was good enough to pass the $700,000 contribution directly to Somaliland.
This was revealed to www.somalilandsun.com through an electronic interview by Education Cannot Wait Advocacy and Communications Manager Ms. Anouk Desgroseilliers below verbatim
SLSUN: Shall the grantee UNICEF utilize the funds the way it deems fit or work in conjunction with government education officials?
ECW- The funds will support the COVID-19 response plan of the Somaliland Ministry of Education and the Education Cluster Strategy/Plan for Covid-19, as well as the activities of implementing partners. The Grantee (UNICEF) will work closely with the Ministry of Education and partners.
Q: Was the grant made directly to Somaliland or was it lumped with that of Somalia then diverted?
ECW- The grant is for Somaliland, and not lumped with the other funds.
Q’: With schools closed as Covid-19 spread preventive measure will the funds be used to support the electronic learning model being proposed (through Somaliland national TV) ?
ECW: The funds will be used to ensure the continuation of education delivery through alternative education modalities.
For more details on activities to be carried out, Ms. Anouk Desgroseilliers suggested we contact UNICEF Somalia as they are leading the implementation of the grant and more specifically their Chief of Communication is Dheepa Pandian
Q: Have the funds ben made available or pending?
A: Once grants are approved/announced, Education Cannot Wait disburses funds swiftly to partners to support activities on the ground (the delay varies from a few days or weeks, depending on the country and grantee).
Q: Apart from this support for Covid-19 an earlier grant to Somaliland had been made by your organization, are you satisfied with how used and are there plans for more now or in the future?
A: Indeed, we launched a multi-year investment in Somaliland in July 2019: As this is a 3-year programme, it is still early to analyze outcomes. However, please note that results and data analysis from all our active grants in 2019 are currently being compiled and will be published in our 2019 Annual Report which we expect to release next July. End
Several communication attempts to the UNICEF their Chief of Communication is Dheepa Pandian for purposes on relevant information on activities facilitated by the ECW grant have been unsuccessful. We shall try further
Education Cannot Wait is a global fund hosted by UNICEF. The Fund is administered under UNICEF’s financial, human resources and administrative rules and regulations, while operations are run by the Fund’s own independent governance structure.