The global cost of inclusive refugee education

This report estimates the cost of educating refugee children in the countries in which they currently reside. The cohort-average annual cost of providing education to all refugee students in low, lower-middle and upper-middle income host countries is US$4.85 billion. A sensitivity analysis, relaxing model assumptions, suggests the estimate lies in the range of US$4.44 billion and US$5.11 billion. The total financing envelope required to provide K-12 years of education over a 13-year period to 2032 is US$63 billion. As data on the impact of COVID-19’s impact on education costs and public expenditure is still evolving, this paper provides a pre- COVID-19 baseline for the estimated costs of educating all refugee children. The Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) has placed enhanced responsibility-sharing at the center of the international refugee protection agenda. It commits stakeholders to specific measures to achieve that goal, including a proposal to measure their contributions. This requires a standardized and transparent methodology, developed through a participatory process, that can be used across all host countries; and provides the motivation for this work.


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