On 25 March 2020, during the full global lockdown, UNESCO launched the Global Education Coalition in response to the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, particularly with regard to gender.
According to UNESCO, more than 11 million girls are at risk of not returning to school following the pandemic.
On the proposal of the General Wallonia-Brussels Delegation in Paris, WBI has decided to support UNESCO's action in four sub-Saharan African countries (Benin, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal) where there is a high risk of girls dropping out of school.
WBI will provide aid of €50,000 to enable UNESCO to develop advocacy at national and local levels to promote the safe return of girls to school, ensure girls have the right to quality education and mitigate the risks of gender-based violence, and early and forced marriage.
In the long term, the aid will contribute to the empowerment of girls through education, with positive health, economic and social consequences for the girls themselves, their families and their communities.
This support is in line with the priorities of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation on gender equality and education and is part of Wallonia-Brussels' contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals .