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Press release

UNICEF Executive Director announces US$19 million in funding for Liberia

UNICEF Executive Director announcing the new release of funds for children's initiatives to the President of Liberia H.E Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Monrovia, 25 February 2008 - During her first visit to Liberia, UNICEF Executive Director, Ann M. Veneman announced that $17 million is being made available through a new public-private partnership which will help rebuild Liberia's primary education system.   The Education Recovery Pooled Fund (ERPF) was formed as a result of a $12 million donation from the Dutch Government made through UNICEF and the Open Society Institute (OSI) which will contribute $5 million.  
"Reliable funding in the transition period following conflict is a major challenge," said Ms. Veneman. "This fund will enable children in Liberia to return to school and receive primary education that was previously inaccessible to them as a result of the 15-year civil war."

Currently, only about 33 per cent of primary school age children attend school.  Liberia is one of the few countries where the younger generation is less literate than their elders.   The money will also be used to train teachers and rebuild and refurbish schools that were destroyed or damaged during the conflict.  It is estimated that 67 per cent of teachers in the public school system are not properly qualified.
The UNICEF Executive Director also announced an allocation of more than $2 million for use in advocacy, research and strengthening data collection systems.   Part of this money will also be used for the planned census in March 2008.


UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information please contact:
Yvette Bivigou, Officer in Charge of Communication, UNICEF Liberia, Tel +231 689 6362, Email: elotracy@yahoo.fr
Rozanne Chorlton, Representative, UNICEF Liberia, Tel:  +4 122 909 5804,  Tel +231 6 639 809, Email: rchorlton@unicef.org




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