Building on a partnership that has given more than 260,000 refugee children access to primary school since 2012, the new EAC-funded programme will continue to support the education of these children and help enrol a further 450,000 children in schools over the next three years. These children live in Chad, Ethiopia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Uganda and Yemen.

Wars, conflict and persecution in recent years have forced millions to flee their homes and seek refuge and safety elsewhere. The need to ensure an education for children in crisis settings has never been more urgent. Refugee children are often the most marginalized and hardest to reach, facing challenges in accessing quality education such as extreme poverty, social exclusion, trauma, and language barriers. We estimate that only one in two refugee children have access to primary school, only one in four have access to secondary school, and less than one per cent access higher education opportunities. Partnerships such as EAC provide an opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of children, their families and their communities.

The new partnership agreement includes a commitment from EAC that will: Help UNHCR and our partners to improve the quality of teaching and learning; ensure safe learning environments for children; promote awareness and advocacy on the importance of education for refugee children; and strengthen capacity and partnerships with ministries of education and others to enable more refugee children to attend school. In 2015, UNHCR advocated strongly for the inclusion of refugees and other conflict-affected children in Sustainable Development Goal 4 on education, which aims to ensure education for refugees and IDPs. Supporting countries in an effort to ensure that refugees are included in national education planning will be a priority in 2016.

We continue to mobilize matching grants for our EAC programme from new and existing partners and donors. In 2015, a number of matching grants have been donated through our national fundraising partners such as España con ACNUR, Japan for UNHCR, UNO Flüchtlingshilfe, and USA for UNHCR. These contributions have allowed our country operations to focus on some of the most vulnerable children in refugee situations and design activities to enrol and keep them in school.

Key stats and figures

  • From 2012 to 2018, EAC has committed more than USD 76 million
  • More than 59 million children globally are excluded from primary education
  • 21 million children, around 36 per cent of the world’s primary age out of school population, live in conflict-affected contexts
  • Only one in every two refugee children attend primary school
  • 2015-2019 Partnership: Help more than 710,000 refugee children access quality primary education in Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Malaysia and Pakistan
  • Over 266,000 children enrolled and retained in primary school in 12 countries in 2012-2013


  • Almost 9,000 teachers trained and supported
  • Over 196,000 textbooks
  • Over 506,000 learning materials distributed
  • 1,771 children with disabilities supported
  • 12,632 children benefited from accelerated education programs
  • 1,350 classrooms constructed or rehabilitated
  • 275,614 school uniforms distributed
  • 41,083 children supported with cash assistance

Contact us

If you are interested in exploring a partnership with UNHCR, please contact us at