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education update

Haiti Crisis Update

              Education Needs, IASC Education Cluster Response          and Relevant Tools

Dear INEE Members, 

As you are all aware, the strongest earthquake in Haiti in more than 200 years, measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, rocked the nation on 12 January at 4.53 p.m. (local time).  The earthquake struck Ouest Province (population 2.2 million), with the epicentre some 17km south-west of Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince.  The nearby cities of Carrefour and Jacmel, as well as other areas to the west and south of Port-au-Prince, were affected.  Thousands were killed by the quake, many more are injured, and unknown numbers are still buried under the rubble. It is estimated that 3 million people have been severely affected, through injury or loss of access to essentials such as food, water, health care, education and other basic needs (OCHA). 

The level of casualties sustained by civil servants and the damage to public buildings and services has significantly reduced the capacity of national authorities to lead and coordinate the response, and a large scale international relief operation has been triggered. Many INEE members and member organizations have been mobilizing efforts to respond to this tragic disaster; we are working as a community to support the resilience of the Haitian people through the education sector as they cope with this devastation and morn the loss of many loved ones and colleagues.

Impact on Education 
A full scale rapid assessment of the impact of the earthquake on education in Haiti is yet to be done (see below), but reports from the country's Education Minister Joel Jean-Pierre state that half of Haiti's 15,000 primary schools and and half of the 1,500 secondary schools and its three main universities have been destroyed or badly damaged by the earthquake. Many schools were sill open when the quake hit and there are indications that many students and teachers died inside the buildings. The Ministry of Education has also collapsed, with many staff killed.

The Emergency Response 
"I don't know how, perhaps in tents or the open-air...but even in wartime, schools must function...For the mental health of the population, the children and students need to go back to normal life. They will have hot meals and psychological treatment at schools."
Joel Jean-Pierre, Minister of Education, Haiti

As expressed by Haiti's Minister of Education, establishing safe spaces where children and youth can access essential services, regain routine and opportunities for learning is critical in this initial phase of the crisis in Haiti. Education is already beginning to emerge as a key area for support in the response. Making the case for the importance of education both as a fundamental right and a crucial psychosocial and physical protection intervention is being undertaken by INEE members and members of the Global Education Cluster as the humanitarian response to Haiti is coordinated. To support our joint efforts to advocate for attention to education in the relief and recovery period, you can find talking point on this issue in the Useful Resources section below.

Coordination of the education response is underway. An IASC Education Cluster has been activated in Haiti, and a cluster coordinator has arrived on the ground, with further capacity also en route. The Education Cluster in Haiti is being co-led by UNICEF and Save the Children. Given the scale and impact on aid agencies themselves operating in Haiti, coordination and support is also being provided by the Education Cluster Unit at the global level.

To support coordination and information sharing, OCHA will be piloting the new inter-cluster website, OneResponse, in Haiti.  The Education Cluster has its own page on the site for posting contact lists, meeting notifications, key tools and resources and more. Click here to access the site. 

Needs Assessment
The Education Cluster intends to pilot the draft Joint Education Needs Assessment Toolkit for Education in Emergencies in Haiti, in particular the Short Guide to Rapid Joint Education Needs Assessment (see below). This Toolkit was developed in 2009, and many INEE members reviewed and provided input into the document. Data from this exercise will be used to develop a detailed sector response plan for the Education Cluster. Beyond the Education Cluster's own initial rapid needs assessment, clusters in Haiti are calling for a uniformed and consolidated approach to rapid needs assessment.  OCHA is deploying two needs assessment experts to support the process. There are also plans in the coming weeks to carry out a joint Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) to assess the early through to longer-term recovery needs. The Education Cluster will be tracking this work and helping to coordinate education inputs.

If INEE member organizations are planning needs assessments with an education component, and would like to connect with the coordinated effort being led by the Education Cluster, please see below for how to engage.

A Flash Appeal for the Haiti earthquake was launched on Friday 15 January. It requests a total of $275 million over the next six months.  Within the appeal, the Education Cluster is requesting $23.05 million for projects to be implemented by Save the Children, UNICEF, Plan and UNESCO.  Following more detailed assessment of needs and priorities, a revised Flash Appeal is likely to issue within the next five weeks.  The Appeal was pulled together in less than 12 hours, and so it is expected that there are a number of other actors might want to be included in a revision.  The current appeal is available online here.

To rapidly access funding, an Emergency Response Relief Fund (ERRF) of $8m has also been set up in Haiti to prioritise allocation of funds mainly to NGOs who need start-up/catalytic funding.  It will be used primarily for projects within the Earthquake Flash Appeal but also, as appropriate, for projects outside of the Appeal that reflect the overall current humanitarian response. The fund is managed by OCHA and applications should be approved by Cluster Lead Agencies (ie. UNICEF and Save the Children for the Education Cluster) to ensure that proposed activities are in line with overall cluster strategies. Guidelines for accessing ERRF funding and a project proposal format are available. Please see contact details below if you are interested in applying.

Further information and coordination
The Education Cluster Unit at the global level is organizing a conference call at 15.00 Geneva time on Friday 22 January to share further information on the situation in Haiti for those agencies involved in the response. Given that there are limited spaces for the call, if you would like to be considered for participation, please email Roger Wright (rwright@unicef.org) UNICEF Global Education Cluster Coordinator, Susan Nicolai (susan@savethechildren.ch) Save the Children Global Education Cluster Coordinator, and Charlotte Lattimer (charlotte@savethechildren.ch) Global Education Cluster Knowledge Management Adviser with the following information: 
  • If your agency is active on the ground in Haiti and plans to work in education response and recovery
  • If you would like to be involved in the joint needs assessment for education in Haiti and if your agency can nominate individuals who can contribute their time and expertise to the exercise
  • If you have background information or tools you would like to have posted on the Haiti Education Cluster website
  • If you would like to join the conference call on Friday to share information and discuss assessment plans
"Education is at the core of Haiti's recovery and is the key to Haiti's development." Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General

As the response to the acute emergency in Haiti continues, and educational services are reestablished, INEE morns the losses to our community, and emphasizes the role our sector, and INEE as a network can play as Haitians work to rebuild. Sharing tools and information and connecting education practitioners working directly on the relief effort with those that have experience from other emergencies is a service we encourage all INEE members to engage with and contribute to. This listserv message will be posted on the INEE Blog, and anyone is welcome to comment, link to tools, or ask for more information.