This upper-middle income country has witnessed successful economic growth where each year for 30 years, between 1967 and 1997, it managed 7% growth. According to the World Bank 50% of Malaysia’s population lived below the poverty line in the 1960’s compared to less than 2% today. EAC, in partnership with UNHCR and UNESCO are working to increase access to quality primary education for out of school children in Malaysia.

source(s): UNESCO EFA Global Monitoring Report 2013/14

Main Barriers to Education

  • Conflict
  • Post Conflict
  • Insecurity & Instability

This multi-ethnic country, a former colony of Great Britain and later Japan, is home to a population of almost 30 million people, made up of: Malay 50.1%, Chinese 22.6%, indigenous 11.8%, Indian 6.7%, other 0.7%, non-citizens 8.2% (2010 est.)  Situated in South East Asia, Malaysia boasts a thriving tourism industry; this country was hit hard however, by the global economic downturn in 2008, which resulted in a $16bn economic stimulus plan, according to the BBC.  Malaysia spends 5.6% (2011) of its GDP on education, schooling in this country last for 13 years.

Malaysia is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of rubber, timber, palm oil and computer disks.  In addition, its natural resources include tin, petroleum, timber, copper, iron ore and natural gas.  Although successful in industry, unfortunately, this is accompanied by negative environmental consequences such as the Borneo rainforest being under pressure from palm oil plantations whilst other areas are subject to wholesale logging.  Further environmental concerns stem from air pollution through industrial and vehicular emissions; water pollution from raw sewage; deforestation; smoke/haze from Indonesian forest fires according to the CIA world fact book.

According to UNHCR, asylum-seekers and refugees in Malaysia are in excess of 100,000 people; the majority (90%) are refugees and asylum seekers originating from Myanmar, whilst the other 10% per cent are from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Sri Lanka.


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Educate A Child Partnership

Successfully Completed Project

Educate A Child (EAC) has partnered with UNHCR to bring quality primary education to refugee children in 12 priority countries.
Enabling, Encouraging & Excelling

Enabling, Encouraging & Excelling

As the global refugee protection agency, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is responsible for ensuring that refugee children have access to quality education in their countries of asylum. There are over 2.7 million refugee children out of school in 12 targeted project countries.

Strengthening Education System for Out of School Children

The Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, and East Timor continue to face challenges in reaching and educating out of school children (OOSC). The EAC-UNESCO Asia Pacific Regional Bureau for Education Strengthening Education Systems for Out of School Children project seeks to enrol and retain 50,000 out of school children in quality primary education programs in the sub-region.



EAC partnered with UNESCO to help realise Sustainable Development Goal 4 (ensure inclusive and quality education for all), as well as the former Millennium Development Goal 2 (achieve universal primary education). To that end, the two have joined in partnership to implement education interventions in 11 countries to reach OOSC in Asia and the Middle East.


EAC partnership with UNHCR will ensure quality education for over 448,000 refugee children. UNHCR and EAC’s shared commitment to children in the most extreme circumstances help to ensure that all children in crisis situations have the opportunity to gain from the benefits of basic education.