The United Nations Children’s Fund and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, marking the International Day of Education yesterday, called for immediate coordinated action to improve learning for children in Eastern and Southern Africa in the COVID era. In a joint statement issued on Monday, the two organisations stated that during the pre-pandemic period, the vast majority of African children were already experiencing a widespread learning crisis, with COVID-19 only exacerbating the situation. They therefore called on governments to honour their Paris Declaration commitments to devote at least 4 per cent of GDP, or 15 per cent of public spending, to education.