Send My Friend to School’s response to UK pledges at the Global Refugee Forum 2023

Send My Friend to School welcomes the priority placed on refugee education by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development’s Office in its engagement in the Global Refugee Forum 2023, including through its role as a co-convenor of the education mega-pledge on Securing Sustainable Futures.

The UK’s pledge of £4 million to support inclusive refugee education is a welcome step in the right direction, given the disproportionate ODA cuts to global education in recent years. However, it must be recognised that this pledge is a drop in the ocean compared to the resources needed to close the refugee education financing gap over the next 4 years.

The message from host countries, such as South Sudan and Uganda, was clear. The lack of predictable, long-term financing for refugee education from the international community hinders the efforts host countries have taken to include refugees in their national education systems.

Educating the world’s refugees must be a shared global responsibility and we need all donors to step up. We urge the UK to use its pledge, and new partnership with the World Bank and UNHCR’s “Inclusion Support Programme for Refugee Education” (INSPIRE), as a springboard to work with the international community to scale up financial and technical support to lower income countries as part of its leadership on global education

We also commend the UK’s pledge to support meaningful refugee participation in policy-making and high-level meetings. Going forward, we urge the UK to continue to champion and promote the rights of all children and youth in global decision-making processes.