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March 28, 2022 (ADDIS Ababa, Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and Education Cannot Wait (ECW) Partnership Project Technical Steering Committee today launched their first meeting to review implementation of the Djibouti Declaration on Education for Refugees, IDPs, Returnees and Host Communities.

The Meeting was attended by members of the Steering Committee composed of Representatives of Education Ministries or Refugee Agencies of all member states, Core Taskforce Members of the Djibouti Declaration, ECW, GIZ, UNHCR the European Union, UNESCO, UNICEF, and a representative from youth associations in the region were also present.

At the opening ceremony, on behalf of the IGAD Executive Secretary, Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, Director for Health and Social Development Division, Mme Fathia Alwan disclosed that the succession of events is clear evidence that IGAD, together with its partners, is actively engaged in the implementation of the Djibouti Declaration on Education for Refugees, Returnees and Host Communities.

“I therefore call upon the member states participants and partners to pay attention to the deliberations and recommendations of this meeting. We will continue to have similar forums with other partners in the coming months,” she added.

Today’s Technical Steering Committee Meeting is needed to take stock of the implementation of the IGAD – ECW Partnership project. “The committee is also essential in providing policy and strategic advice to IGAD. Such role will be helpful for the effective realization of the agreed commitments of our member states at both national and regional levels,” Mme Fathia said.

Representatives from Ethiopia as hoist country, and Sudan as IGAD Chair, as well as including Education Cannot Wait (ECW) also gave their opening remarks.

During the opening of the Technical Steering Committee meeting, the Coordinator of the Regional Secretariat for Education, Science and Technology Innovation, Dr Kebede noted that steps have been taken to address the gaps in communication between IGAD and the countries, Project Implementation Units.

This Technical Steering Committee (TSC) meeting aims to serve as a think-tank for the effective and smooth implementation of the Djibouti Declaration, through the IGAD-ECW collaborative Project, in particular.

During this one-day discussions, the Committee determined the status of the IGAD-ECW collaborative Project progress made during the past years.

Furthermore, the TSC reviewed the overall environment in which the implementation of the project is taking place, including the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on the pace of activities.

The Technical Steering Committee (TSC) Meeting provided technical and expert advice on the promotion of inclusive quality education in the region in general.

The TSC Meeting also shared lessons and good practices from the implementation of similar projects at national and regional levels.

The Committee in final agreed on successful implementation of the key components of Djibouti Declaration; reports of activities and minutes of meetings: and a comprehensive strategy for sustainability and continuity of the project with a view to build the capacity of IGAD to respond to ongoing and emerging education and skill development needs of refugees, returnees and host communities in the region.

The Committee also made recommendations on how to accelerate the implementation of the agreed deliverables in the remaining period of the project in preparation for the 3rd Conference of IGAD Ministers in charge Education scheduled for 30 March 2022 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The meeting is supported by the fund that available from the IGAD-ECW Project.

In 2019, IGAD and ECW signed a partnership agreement and are collaborating on the implementation of the Djibouti Declaration on education for refugees, returnees and host communities.

Education Cannot Wait is a New York – based international Organization working to ensure access to Education in Emergencies (EIE).

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