The purpose of this paper is to present an argument showing the importance of education as a disaster response activity, and why it must figure more prominently in…
The purpose of this paper is to present an argument showing the importance of education as a disaster response activity, and why it must figure more prominently in financial and material support for humanitarian disasters.
A critical review of the literature and case studies that have considered humanitarian response activities is carried out, drawing together conclusions on the varied impacts of Education in Emergencies (EiE) on affected populations and identifying the need for more research in this area.
Despite rhetorical commitments to education as an emergency response activity, it is often dismissed as non-life saving, and receives the poorer share of funding and resources from humanitarian budgets. It places lower in the consciousness of states and donors than traditional response activities, yet rates highly by affected communities. However, education is both life-saving and life-sustaining when taking into account the impact of education beyond teaching and learning. The processes and effects of education as part of emergency response need to be better understood, and further research that links education and its life-saving capability will strengthen its case.
This paper argues how immediate response to restore education functions in affected communities after an emergency can significantly contribute to child protection and health. It provides compelling reasons for the status of EiE as a response activity, adding to the voice of more than 200 million people affected by disasters every year, many of whom continue to prioritise education.