Programme will focus on reducing gender disparity
DUBAI, 16 July 2008 – Dubai Cares, a charitable organization that aims to provide primary education to one million children in developing countries, today provided UNICEF with nearly 1.2 million dollars to fund educational programmes in Niger.
The Niger initiative follows Dubai Cares’ previous partnerships with UNICEF in Djibouti, Sudan and Yemen and will eventually help fund education programmes in 12 countries.
The Dubai Cares donation will benefit approximately 150,000 school children along with primary school teachers, parent teacher associations, school management committees, education civil servants and NGO’s programmes.
Basic school kits will be supplied to children as part of the initiative, which will help increase the number of children enrolled in 600 schools around the country. In addition, the programme will also provide classroom furniture for 200 schools and building materials to construct 50 emergency learning centres.
Increasing rural school enrolment rates along with improving sanitation facilities in 200 schools and increasing the attendance rate of girls are the other key components of the programme.
Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Chairperson of Dubai Cares Board of Directors, said: “Almost 50 per cent of Niger’s villages do not have functional primary schools, with very few pre-schools or kindergarten centers to support child survival or readiness towards education. Our project will focus on increasing educational opportunities for children, especially girls, in the most remote and marginalized communities.”
According to 2006 data, Niger has one of the poorest education indicators in the world with a female literacy rate of only 14.8 per cent, one of the lowest in the world. The education system faces enormous challenges in terms of access and quality with limited government funding for education.
"In light of the current needs which are enormous in the education sector in Niger, and noting the efforts and commitment of the Government to both increase access to and the quality of education in the country, significant contributions from donors such as Dubai Cares are crucial towards making further major steps forward to ensure that all children receive a quality education in Niger. UNICEF therefore wishes to thank Dubai Cares for their invaluable support,” said Akhil Lyer, UNICEF Representative in Niger.
Dubai Cares will also support UNICEF in offering basic training to nearly 1,000 newly recruited teachers along with training in subjects related to community development such as hygiene, nutrition and sanitation.
Dubai Cares has prioritized 12 countries that experience the highest gap in primary education, which include Bangladesh, Bosnia, Chad, Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Maldives, Mauritania, Niger, Pakistan, Occupied Palestinian territories, Sudan, and Yemen; and Palestinian refugee communities in Lebanon and Jordan.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
About Dubai Cares:
Launched in September 2007, Dubai Cares has evolved into the world’s largest charitable establishment, solely devoted to improving primary education around the world. As a contribution to the U.N. Millennium Development Goals for providing primary education to every child by 2015, the initiative validates the emirate’s commitment to play an effective role in securing a better tomorrow for future generations.