CAIRO, 17 July 2018 – Today, the Kingdom of the Netherlands signed a contribution agreement with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Egypt at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Cairo. The agreement, for a total of EUR 1 million over 18 months, will improve the access to quality education for more than 16,000 pre-primary children and children enrolled in basic education within a broader protective environment.
Egypt has increasingly become a country of transit and destination for refugees and migrants from several neighbouring countries due to regional social unrest and political instability, as well as a deterioration in conditions along the usual migratory route through Libya. While some refugees and migrants use Egypt as a point of departure for irregular migration, many live in Egypt for years, including large numbers of children.
This intervention will provide an integrated package to improve access to education, mainstreaming protection services for refugee and migrant children in Egypt. The packaged services target the most vulnerable in major urban centres with high refugee and migrant concentrations, namely Greater Cairo, Alexandria, Damietta, Al Behira, Kafr Al Shiekh, Marsa Matrouh, Aswan, and the Red Sea. These packaged services will be complemented by a strong communication and awareness approach focused on positive parenting and social cohesion.
“We are pleased to enhance our long-standing partnership with UNICEF”, said Mr. Tsjeard Hoekstra, Deputy Head of Mission of the Netherlands Embassy in Egypt. He continued, “We are strongly committed to working together with our local partners to provide much-needed support to the most vulnerable groups in Egypt, including refugee and migrant children and their host communities.”
“Access to education for all children is a top priority for the Netherlands’ international development policy”, added Mr. Hoekstra.
“This initiative is in line with the UNICEF country programme and the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), which aim to provide integrated interventions to improve inclusive access to education and protection services for vulnerable refugee and migrant children in Egypt,” said Mr. Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative in Egypt. “It is particularly important to increase access to education for crisis-affected girls and boys as well as to improve the quality of the education delivered in a protective environment,” he added.
In 2017, UNICEF worked with government and NGO partners to provide 50,000 children, adolescents and youth with sustained psychosocial support, child protection, and life skills programmes, while a further 10,000 children received multi-sectoral case management services. To prevent violence against children in the home and improve family relationships, 14,693 parents participated in positive parenting programmes.
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