The Government of the Republic of Croatia and UNICEF are establishing schools for children in earthquake-affected areas of Türkiye
The seventh joint international aid project by MFEA and UNICEF is focused on supporting Türkiye
Zagreb, May 26, 2023 – A cooperation agreement was signed today between the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the UNICEF Office for Croatia for 1 million EUR to establish three prefabricated schools in the provinces of Kahramanmaraş and Adıyaman. The prefabricated schools will allow children affected by the recent devastating earthquakes to continue their face-to-face education which is crucial for children’s learning recovery. The funds will be transferred to the UNICEF Office in Türkiye which will support the Government of Türkiye in mitigating the negative impact of the earthquakes on children, adolescent and teachers.
The earthquakes and their aftershocks have put 2.5 million children at risk, and according to a report by the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) of the Republic of Türkiye almost 1,000 schools have been destroyed or damaged and are currently out of use. The three prefabricated schools will provide the precious opportunity to more than 2,100 students and over 100 teachers to go back to school. Each school will contain 12 classrooms and 2 office spaces for teaching staff as well as sanitary facilities, including those specially adapted for children with developmental disabilities. The total area of each school will be approximately 2,400 squares meters (60mX40m). UNICEF will support the Ministry of National Education of the Republic of Türkiye to ensure the necessary staff for all three schools and organize the work of the schools in two shifts, in order to increase access to students, for example by holding preschool and elementary school classes in the morning and high school programs in the afternoon.
“The Republic of Croatia was among the first countries to send emergency aid to the Republic of Türkiye, immediately after the devastating earthquake on February 6th of this year. On the same day, we sent a team of 41 members of the State Civil Protection Intervention Unit with dogs, material aid, and additionally 40 accommodation containers. The total aid of the Government of the Republic of Croatia to the Republic of Türkiye is 5 million EUR. We are particularly pleased that, in cooperation with UNICEF, the long-standing partner of the Government of the Republic of Croatia in terms of development cooperation and humanitarian aid, we agreed on this valuable aid project to the Republic of Türkiye, in the form of the construction of three prefabricated schools worth 1 million EUR. Almost two thousand children will attend them until the permanent school objects are built. In our work in the field of development cooperation and humanitarian aid, we pay special attention to the most vulnerable groups of the population, namely children. Therefore, I am extremely glad that this time again we joined forces with UNICEF in this valuable project, which we will implement for the benefit of children and to support the education system of the Republic of Türkiye”, said Gordan Grlić Radman, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, during the signing of the cooperation agreement.
“Through solidarity in the face of recent disasters that have affected both countries, Türkiye and Croatia have demonstrated their true friendship in times of trouble. I would like to thank Croatia for the prompt and unwavering support it provided to Türkiye following the earthquake on February 6th. The establishment of these three prefabricated schools serves as an additional and significant example of Croatia's solidarity”, said the ambassador of the Republic of Türkiye in Croatia, H.E. Yavuz Selim Kiran.
“Immediately after the devastating earthquake hit Türkiye, UNICEF started providing support and assistance to children and families in the affected areas. Along with urgent humanitarian aid and protection of children in crisis situations like this, it is paramount to ensure that children and young people continue their education as quickly as possible to continue learning, feel protected and recover from trauma. On behalf of UNICEF, I would like to thank the Government of the Republic of Croatia for this valuable donation which contributes to meeting some of the most urgent needs of the children affected by the earthquakes in Türkiye. The UNICEF Office for Croatia has been successfully cooperating with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs on Official Development Assistance projects since 2018, and have together supported children and families in Yemen, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Ukraine, and Moldova. We are proud and grateful that UNICEF is recognized as a reliable partner that will direct international humanitarian aid to important programs and activities for girls and boys and their families around the world.“
Regina M. Castillo, Representative of the UNICEF Office for Croatia
Providing support to Türkiye is the seventh in a series of projects on which the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs successfully cooperates with UNICEF as part of its Official Development Assistance (ODA). ODA refers to activities and measures designed to promote sustainable development in less developed countries. These activities are funded from the state budget of the Republic of Croatia and are used in accordance with the regulations of the OECD Development Assistance Committee on official development assistance.
Previous cooperation projects of MFEA and the UNICEF Office in Croatia within ODA in the period from 2018 to 2023 include:
Ensuring quality and timely health care for Syrian refugees in Egypt, with special emphasis on children and women as the most vulnerable
Protection and improving the educational conditions of Syrian refugee children in Jordan by financing the construction of five playgrounds for children with disabilities in Azraq and Za'atari refugee camps
Humanitarian aid to children and families in Yemen
Reconstruction of inclusive children's playgrounds in Lebanon
Donation of generators which enable the continuous operation of hospitals and schools in Ukraine
Donation of generators which enable the continuous operation of hospitals and schools in Moldova.
UNICEF promiče prava i dobrobit djece u svemu što radimo. U suradnji s partnerima, radimo u nekima od najizazovnijih dijelova svijeta kako bismo pomogli najugroženijoj djeci na svijetu. U više od 190 država i teritorija radimo za svako dijete, s posebnim fokusom na najranjiviju djecu.