Back-to-School Brings Hope for Children and Families Amidst Crisis in Haiti.

12 September 2023
In celebration of the school reopening on September 11, 2023, the students of the Ducasse René National School strike a pose in front of the camera.
UNICEF/Opota
In celebration of the school reopening on September 11, 2023, the students of the Ducasse René National School strike a pose in front of the camera.

LES CAYES (Haiti), 12 September 2023 - As the new school year officially begins in Haiti, UNICEF and its education partners are working tirelessly to ensure that as many children as possible can enroll in school despite the challenging circumstances they face. Alongside our partners, UNICEF is engaged in rebuilding schools damaged by earthquakes, distributing school kits and manuals, offering support to displaced children, and accelerating cash transfers to teachers and families to encourage school enrollment.

"In a challenging environment marked by multiple crises, even sending a single child to school is a victory for families and children in Haiti. We are committed to supporting as many children attending school as possible," affirmed Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative in Haiti.

UNICEF is actively engaged on all fronts, not only in swift crisis response and providing education to the most affected children but also in developing long-term and innovative solutions to help them reach their full potential.

  • Rebuilding Schools: UNICEF continues to rebuild schools damaged by recent earthquakes, ensuring that students have safe and secure learning environments. In the coming days, 10 additional schools will be inaugurated, providing opportunities for over 2,800 children to begin their educational journey.
  • School Kits and Manuals: The distribution of more than 14,000 school kits in Gonaïves, 5,000 in metropolitan Port-au-Prince, and 4,500 in the Great South is currently underway, guaranteeing that children in these regions have the necessary supplies to start school. UNICEF is also supporting the delivery of more than 23,000 manuals (Liv Inik An Kreyol) in five departments of Haiti (North, North-East, North-West, Center, & Artibonite).
  • Cash Transfer Initiative: A nationwide cash transfer initiative is benefiting around 20,000 children and 400 teachers in the South, Nippes, and Artibonite. This initiative assists families in enrolling their children in school and ensures that teachers are prepared for the new school year.
  • Back-to-School Campaign: In close coordination with the Ministry of Education, UNICEF has launched a national campaign involving media, community leaders, and youth to encourage parents to send their children to school.
  • Safe school environment : UNICEF, in its commitment to fostering a secure and conducive learning environment, remains dedicated to the Edupol program, diligently working to promote peace and safety, thereby enabling every child to embark on and successfully complete their educational journey.

Ongoing armed violence in metropolitan Port-au-Prince has forcibly displaced over 19,000 people, primarily women and children. Many schools are currently being used as shelters by displaced people, thereby impeding the access to education for thousands of children. With UNICEF's support, the Ministry of Education is currently conducting an assessment, regrouping a wide range of stakeholders including youth and communities, to assess its impact on children's right to education. This assessment will facilitate the prompt development of targeted interventions aimed at effectively addressing this emerging crisis.

Escalating insecurity and violence have led to the closure of numerous schools across the country, disrupting the education of thousands of children.

"We are acutely aware of the challenges we face. In a landscape besieged by multiple crises, even the smallest gesture can wield transformative power for the children of Haiti. Your support, irrespective of its scale, holds the potential to shape a brighter tomorrow," said Bruno Maes.

Out of the US$45 million required by UNICEF to expand its education program this year, only 28% of the necessary funding has been secured.

"The back-to-school season is a real moment of hope for children. We must do everything in our power to protect and nurture this hope".

Bruno Maes, Représentant de l'UNICEF en Haiti

Media contacts

Lalaina F. Andriamasinoro
Chief communication
UNICEF Haiti
Tel: +50937048893
Gessika Thomas
Communication officer
Tel: +50947503125

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UNICEF works in the world’s toughest places to reach the most disadvantaged children and adolescents – and to protect the rights of every child, everywhere. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we do whatever it takes to help children survive, thrive and fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence. And we never give up.

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