NAIROBI, Kenya, 20 June 2017 - The European Union has committed €800,000 for UNICEF’s humanitarian response programmes to help refugee children in Kenya. The funding will support humanitarian child protection and education services for children in Kakuma and Dadaab Refugee Camps.
Kenya is host to almost half a million refugees. Over 20,000 children are unaccompanied or separated from their families or caregivers after they have fled conflict and drought in the region. Children living in Kakuma and Dadaab Refugee Camps face many challenges. Insufficient basic services and overcrowding have worsened an already stressful environment for children. In addition, the ongoing voluntary repatriation of refugees has resulted in emerging protection concerns that were previously low-risk, such as family separation and custody disputes.
Moreover, children living in the camps are vulnerable to numerous forms of violence and abuse. In Kenya, 49% of refugee children are out of school. Without education and its support, these children are at risk of further violence and losing hope – undermining their own future and that of their community.
The Representative of UNICEF in Kenya, Werner Schultink says, “We are grateful to the EU for this generous funding that will help strengthen our education and child protection activities in Kakuma and Dadaab Refugee Camps. The support will greatly enrich our work with UNHCR and other partners, in building the much needed resilience and social well-being of every refugee child in the camps. ”
Through the EU grant, UNICEF plans to reach 25,000 children, half of whom are girls, with education and child protection interventions. A total of 6,500 children have been targeted to benefit from the Child Protection Case Management System, which will make use of an innovative digital Child Protection Information Management System developed with previous EU support.
Furthermore, the EU humanitarian aid will enable at least 2,000 out of school children, who have recently arrived to enrol in primary and pre-school education. An additional 16,500 learners will also benefit from the provision of teaching and learning materials, documented to increase enrolment and attendance. In addition, 420 primary school teachers will receive training on basic teaching skills, with a focus on teaching in situations of crisis.
“The European Union prioritises investing in the education of children in emergencies. We are therefore glad to partner with UNICEF to help these vulnerable children in Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps, to regain a sense or normality and to invest in their long term future,” said EU Commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, Christos Stylianides.
UNICEF Kenya has been working with UNHCR and other partners to address the protection, education, health, nutrition, water and sanitation needs of refugees in Kenya as part of the UNICEF and Government of Kenya 2014-2018 Country Programme. With this support from the European Commission, UNICEF will continue to strengthen all-inclusive education and child protection services that cater to the immediate needs of refugee children and their communities.
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, visit www.unicef.org.