UNICEF scales up support for water, sanitation and hygiene in schools ahead of reopening

Helping students and teachers to stay healthy and safe as they return to school

31 August 2020

AMMAN, 31 August 2020 — UNICEF has scaled up its water, sanitation and hygiene support to the Ministry of Education ahead of school reopening this week with a donation of half a million soap bars, infection prevention and control training, and critical water and sanitation infrastructure projects to help keep students safe and healthy.

“Ensuring that children who are returning to learning have access to basic handwashing, clean water and proper sanitation are critical for the safe reopening and operations of schools in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tanya Chapuisat, Representative, UNICEF Jordan, speaking at Samir Al- Refa’I School in Amman today.

The UNICEF Representative was joined by Dr. Sami Al Mahasis, Director of Education Management, Ministry of Education. UNICEF has supported the school with improved water and sanitation facilities, including the installation of drinking water stations and a greywater system for toilets to promote sustainable water use, as well as the provision of soap to create a safe learning environment for all students.

The UNICEF WASH in schools programme - designed to improve water and sanitation facilities in schools across Jordan and promote climate action - was urgently scaled up during the summer months in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Quick maintenance projects were carried out in 46 schools to rehabilitate handwashing facilities.

The donation of half a million bars of soap and 14,000 bottles of hand sanitizer is enough to ensure that every public school in the country, including in refugee camps, has adequate supplies to cover the first couple of months as they resume operations. The distribution will be complemented by hygiene awareness initiatives to teach students how to practice proper handwashing.

Ahead of the reopening of schools, UNICEF, in coordination with the Ministry of Education, has provided Infection Prevention Control (IPC) training to education and health focal points in all directorates so that the expertise to prevent and control the transmission of COVID-19 is present at the school level.

Only one in three schools in Jordan has basic, functional and dignified sanitation services, increasing the risk of disease and adding greater barriers to girls’ education.

UNICEF’s WASH in schools programme, and scaled-up WASH COVID-19 response, is generously funded by Australia, Canada, Irish Aid, Japan and KOICA.

Media Contacts

Claire McKeever
Communications Specialist
UNICEF Jordan

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Jordan, visit www.unicef.org/jordan.

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