Press Release - COVID-19: Access to education for more than 16 million children at serious risk worldwide

Paris, 10 November 2020 - Aide et Actionthe international association for development through education, is launching an end-of-year campaign to highlight the deteriorating access to education for more than 16 million children* worldwide, including just over 11 million girls, as a result of the HIV pandemic. If nothing is done, these 16 million children will be added to the 258 million children whose right to education was already denied before the health crisis.

While this time of the year is traditionally a time when the French are particularly sensitive to the causes defended by associations and NGOs, the end of 2020 is likely, as it has been all year, to be placed under the sign of global concern due to the dramatic consequences of the HIV pandemic. In this unprecedented context, Aide et Action has chosen to highlight the right to education of the most vulnerable and marginalized children in the world.

While in France, the start of school in the autumn/after All Saints' Day took place in deteriorated conditions, both in terms of health and security, in some countries where the association is active, the start of the school year has sometimes not taken place at all. This is mainly due to the growing level of insecurity and poverty among families who can no longer afford to send their children to school.

The economic and other consequences of this health crisis are devastating for the future of millions of children. Today, for many parents, the imperative to feed their families outweighs their desire to send their children back to school.

Without school, a girl can become a mother at 14. Without school, a child from a minority background may be excluded at age 8. Without school, a child living in extreme poverty may be forced to work at age 11. While these data are known to development aid specialists, they remain largely unknown to the general public. This is why Aide et Action will, throughout the winter of 2020, remind people of these alarming facts via a print and digital media campaign to try, in these difficult times, to support its actions / raise funds to maintain its educational projects - currently carried out in 19 countries of intervention - and try to deploy new ones. The goal: to get as many children as possible back to school!

 "For 40 years, Aide et Action has been working with the most vulnerable and marginalized populations. 2020 is a lost year, in terms of education, for many disadvantaged children around the world. In 2021, our absolute priority will be to give access to quality education to the greatest number of people", insists Vanessa Perrette, International Resources Director at Aide et Action. "This educational crisis risks undermining all the progress made in the field of education in recent years. Aide et Action cannot accept that these efforts be destroyed. We will not resign ourselves.

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About Aide et Action 

Founded in 1981, Aide et Action, an association for development through education, ensures access to quality education for the most vulnerable and marginalized populations, especially children, girls and women, so that all can master their own development and contribute to a more peaceful and sustainable world. We promote lifelong learning because access to quality education helps to fight poverty and disease, limit climate change and build peace in a sustainable world. We therefore pay particular attention to early childhood care and education, access to and quality of education at primary and secondary levels, and vocational training and social inclusion. Based on the values of dignity, inclusion and integrity, as well as on the principles of transparency, accountability and solidarity, and thanks to the support of our 51,000 donors, we are currently running 83 projects in Africa, Asia, Europe - and particularly in France - for more than 1.9 million children, young people and adults.

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Press contact: Anne Cassiot : 01 55 25 70 13 - [email protected]

* from pre-primary to secondary - UNESCO 2020

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