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Refugee children hold pencils in a classroom at a refugee camp in northern Thailand
Where we focus


During conflict and crisis, education protects children and sets them up for a better future. It provides a sense of hope and enables them to recover, learn and thrive. However, over 127 million children in countries affected by war and displacement are out of school, while many others receive only a poor quality education. Despite this great need, education has received less than three percent of all humanitarian aid in recent years.

Our goals

Lack of access to education and poor quality of available schools can undermine people’s potential to have successful futures. The IRC provides children, youth and adults with safe, quality educational opportunities that help them learn the skills they need to survive and thrive.
  • Ensure that children aged 0 to 5 develop cognitive and social-emotional skills

    How we get there:

    • Supporting parents in providing consistent, nurturing and supportive behaviors towards young children, including engaging in supportive play and learning activities;
    • Providing young children with access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education.

    See all education goals.

  • Ensure that school-aged children develop literacy, numeracy and social-emotional skills

    How we get there:

    • Creating quality learning spaces in formal schools and informal education settings, such as community-based education and accelerated learning programs for children who have missed years of schooling;
    • Providing teaching and learning materials so teachers and facilitators are equipped to teach meaningful lessons.

    See all education goals.

  • Ensure that youth and adults have high levels of livelihood, literacy, numeracy and social-emotional skills

    How we get there:

    • Providing learning opportunities that teach employment-related and trade-specific technical skills, such as budgeting, accounting and marketing;
    • Supporting the development of social and emotional skills people need to control emotions, set goals, make decisions, persevere and bounce back in the face of setbacks.

    See all education goals.

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