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UNICEF to support US $90 million in rebuilding tsunami affected schools

JAKARTA, May 4, 2005 - UNICEF will support the Indonesian Government through Ministry of National Education by allocating US $90 million to rebuild 300 destroyed primary schools and repair another 200 damaged schools in the tsunami devastated province of Aceh as well as Nias island in North Sumatra province.

Construction is scheduled to start in mid 2005 and end in 2007 in the most affected areas in at least six districts of Banda Aceh, Aceh Besar, Nagan Raya, Aceh Jaya, Aceh Barat and Simeulue as well as in two districts in North Sumatra, Nias and Nias Selatan.

The final quota of rehabilitated and constructed primary schools for each district will be determined by the needs, including the size of the school age population, as well as the availability of overall financial resources from all committed donors and partners, including UNICEF.

In rebuilding the schools, the Ministry of National Education, UNICEF and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), as the operational partner, will use and apply a “child friendly” school design with the perspective of “education for all”. Disabled children, for example, will have access to all parts of the school easily.

UNICEF and UNOPS in collaboration with the Ministry of National Education will also monitor and assess that the rehabilitation and construction meet minimum quality standards including earthquake resistant design features.

UNOPS will be in charge of provision of materials, engineering and hiring of local labour force. The Indonesian government or the local community will provide the land for the building.

A follow-up meeting -- with the same participants as in today’s meeting -- will be held in Medan within the next two weeks to determine prioritization of districts, number and locations of schools that will be rehabilitated or constructed in each district. The meeting will also agree on when and where rehabilitation will start.

According to the latest data, over 1,600 primary schools or more than 40% in the 15 affected districts need to be repaired or rebuilt.  UNICEF’s support will cover only schools in selected districts that have been most affected by the destruction caused by the tsunami and earthquakes.

The December 26 earthquake and tsunami caused 2,237 or 13% of all teachers/staff missing or dead and 38,644 or 11% of all students missing or dead.

During the emergency phase, January through April 2005, UNICEF successfully supported the return of primary school children to class by providing 5,956 school-in-a-box kits for 480,000 children, 5,606 recreation kits for 672,000 children as well as 422 school tents and 194,400 text books.

Working together with the Ministry of Education, UNICEF also helped recruit and train 1,200 temporary primary school teachers in Aceh and Nias. These teachers will be deployed from the beginning of the next school year in July and UNICEF will also provide their salaries for the first six months.

For more information, please contact:  

John Budd, UNICEF Indonesia +62811936437 jbudd@unicef.org

Lely Djuhari, UNICEF Indonesia +62811802338 ldjuhari@unicef.org

Kathryn Donovan, UNICEF New York +1 212 3267452 kdonovan@unicef.org




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