An urgent letter to address the global education emergency triggered by Covid-19

Together, a collective of over 100 internationally respected political, financial, figures have come together to write an urgent appeal to leadership across national and international borders.

The letter represents an urgent call to action to address the global education emergency triggered by Covid-19.

The global pandemic has amplified the digital divide, restricting access to education for those in poverty. There are over 1 billion children around the world who have been locked out of learning due to a lack of access to the internet and digital devices and the loss of free school meals.

UNESCO estimates 30 million of the world’s poorest children may never even return to school as a result of this interruption. For this subset of children, education represents the only escape route from poverty – a route that is in danger of closing. These at-risk children include adolescent girls for whom education is a defence against forced marriages and young children who risk being forced into exploitative and dangerous labour environments.

Limiting access to education will have a negative ripple effect across the world. After all, education represents an enabling foundation for economic growth, health, and prosperity. The letter is an urgent appeal to the G20, the IMF, World Bank and regional development banks and all countries to recognise the scale of the learning crisis and to prioritise progress of the fourth Sustainable Development Goal: Quality Education, in particular by unlocking more support for low income countries.

Mohamed Amersi is a co-signatory, alongside key figures including Gordon Brown and Tony Blair.