With Danish donation, UNICEF will provide access to education to 9,500 children in Malakand Division
ISLAMABAD, 8 January 2010 – UNICEF Pakistan expresses its appreciation to the government and the people of Denmark for their recent contribution of DKK 10 million (approximately Rs.160 million, US$ 1,948,000), to support early recovery of education in Malakand Division. The funds will be used to rebuild and promote access to 60 primary and secondary schools in coordination with the Pakistani government and local partners. They will help ensure that 9,500 children, including 5,700 girls, have access to schools with all essential facilities. For the period 2010-2012 Denmark will grant additional DKK 50 million (approximately Rs 800 million, US$ 9,739,000) to UNICEF’s efforts to provide education for children affected by the crisis in the Fedrally Administered Tribal Areas - when the situation allows.
“The Government and people of Denmark and other donors have recognised the urgent need to limit the effects of conflict on children and rebuild lives in Swat and other areas as quickly as possible,” says Luc Chauvin, the acting UNICEF Country Representative for Pakistan. “With their support and in partnership with the Government of Pakistan and the NWFP, the children of Malakand Division will return to school and a normal childhood all the more quickly.”
Rebuilding is crucial in the context of education in the region as a whole. In NWFP, only 22 per cent of women and girls above 15 are literate while only 41 per cent of girls are enrolled in primary school. Ensuring a safe, protective and conducive learning environment for the children returning to the areas of conflict is an important priority.
A tenth of all primary schools in Swat District alone were damaged including a quarter of girls’ primary schools. Thus when returns began in July 2009, rebuilding education, getting children back to school, and renewing parents’ trust in the education system became a major priority for UNICEF and its partners including the government.
“Thanks to the Danish contribution, we can ensure that children can resume the education that was so badly disrupted by conflict and displacement,” says Mr Chauvin.
Since October 2008, with UNICEF support, nearly 28,000 displaced children were enrolled in camp schools and 14,000 in host community schools.