NEW YORK,17th May, 2016 (WAM) — At next week’s World Humanitarian Summit, more than 100 of the world’s leading countries, companies and philanthropists will join forces to create a “major breakthrough” in the effort to assist millions of children who’s education has been disrupted by conflicts and natural disasters, the United Nations envoy for education has announced.

The new ‘Education Cannot Wait’ fund is being launched next week at the two-day summit in Istanbul, Turkey.

“It is designed to cater for the needs of 30 million displaced girls and boys, the largest population of girls and boys uprooted since 1945, 20 million of whom have no choice at the moment and are unable to go to school,” UN Special Envoy, Gordon Brown, told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York, via telephone.

“This fund will be unique in many different ways,” he explained. “We will be the first to bridge the gap between humanitarian aid and development aid. At present education falls through the net. Most humanitarian aid goes, as you would expect, to food and shelter, and development aid is long terms and not geared to an emergency.”

Mr. Brown highlighted that action has to be taken urgently because the sheer scale of numbers of children missing out on schooling is becoming a “full-blown global crisis.” He underscored that the new fund could be the only chance to save a generation lost to war, child marriage, forced labour and the recruiters for violent extremism.

WAM/Ahlam/Moran