Payne, Jr. Introduces the “Prioritizing Education in Conflict Zones Act of 2017”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) introduced the Prioritizing Education in Conflict Zones Act of 2017 in the United States House of Representatives, which will provide assistance to expand and promote primary and secondary education for refugees, including girls, from areas of conflict.
According to UNICEF, there is an estimated 75 million children out of school in 35 conflict-affected countries. Only 1 in 2 refugees and internally displaced children attend primary school and only 1 in 4 attend lower secondary level. For girls, the numbers are even lower as emergencies and crises disproportionately affect their access to education. Neglecting education in times of crisis will have detrimental impacts on the lives of a generation of children and young people.
“I believe that protecting and increasing access to primary and secondary education for displaced children from areas of conflict, especially girls, is essential in the midst of instability and violence,” said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr.
The Prioritizing Education in Conflict Zones Act of 2017 will accomplish the following:
- Provide $970 million in funding for primary and secondary education assistance – an increase of $104 million
- Create a Director of Refugee Education Assistance in the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
- Promote coordination between refugee host countries and NGOs
- Encourage public-private partnerships to encourage additional funding for refugee education
“Consistent education provides stability and normalcy, and can shield children from exploitation, early marriage for young girls, and recruitment into armed groups,” said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr.
Despite its life changing benefits, education continues to be one of the least funded sectors in humanitarian assistance, with less than two percent of global donor support going to education in times of emergencies and humanitarian crisis.