ECHO and UNICEF join forces for crisis affected children to go back to school
BAMAKO/BRUSSELS, 09 January 2014 - The Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department of the European Commission (ECHO) is providing EUR 3 million for children’s education in crisis affected in Mali. The European Union and UNICEF join forces to support the 2013-2014 “Back to school” campaign which will help provide children with access to quality education in a healthy and safe environment for learning.
This funding will directly support 200,000 children and 4,000 teachers affected by the conflict in the North (Gao, Kidal, Timbuktu) and Mopti (Douentza, Tenenkou, Youwarou) in 824 primary schools and 200 centres for early childhood development. In addition, the campaign involves key education institutions including: academies, peripheral education centres, teachers' unions, etc. These major actors will ensure the improvement of the education system in the long term.
In the context of ECHO-UNICEF partnership, awareness-raising and mobilisation activities will encourage the return and retention of children in school. 300 temporary learning spaces will be provided and 50 schools will benefit from school furniture. In addition, the targeted children and teachers will receive educational and recreational kits. In order to improve the quality of education, teachers will strengthen their skills through trainings focused on five themes linked to emergency.
"Education is the foundation of society. Education can rebuild the country," ensured Gianfranco Rotigliano. "One of the teacher’s training subjects, 'education for a culture of peace & reconciliation', is a long term investment for the future of Mali. We need to work together, from the earliest age, to build a lasting peace" he ended.
“In terms of education, major challenges remain and require an urgent response. Additional ECHO funding will help ensure continued access to quality and equitable education for all,” said Cornelis Wittebrood, ECHO's Head of Unit, East, West and Southern Africa, Indian Ocean.
About European Commission's Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO)
Hector Calderon, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Mali, Tel: +223 75 99 40 89, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cindy Cao, Public Information & Media Officer, UNICEF Mali, Tel: +223 75 99 58 46, email@example.com
Anouk Delafortrie. Coordinatrice régionale de l'information – ECHO Afrique de l'Ouest