A hidden crisis

Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2011: 'A hidden crisis: armed conflicts and education'

The UNESCO Education Monitoring annual report this year focuses on the direct relationship between armed conflicts in the literacy of the population and is based on a revealing statistic: in poor countries plagued by armed conflicts, 28 million children do not attend school, a figure which amounts to 42% of the world's children who do not receive an education.

The report notes that violent conflicts exacerbate poverty and increase economic disparities and gender inequalities, and shift public funds away from education and towards military expenditure. This is an obstacle to achieving the goals of Education for All goals set in Dakar (Senegal) in 2000 and indeed, UNESCO predicts that most of the milestones will not be achieved on time, in 2015, because governments are not meeting their commitments. The report therefore calls for more determination among the international community, especially in the humanitarian aid system: if the rich countries assigned the equivalent to six days of their military expenditure to development linked to basic education, they could cover the deficit of 16,000 million dollars required to achieve universal primary education every year. It is basically a matter of priorities.