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News note

UNICEF-Dubai Cares partnership benefits schoolchildren in Djibouti

DUBAI /NEW YORK, 25 February 2008 – UNICEF and Dubai Cares announced today the launch of new education programmes in Djibouti that will help accelerate access to education for children and promote gender equality in the country.

The programme will benefit thousands of children in primary and secondary schools as part of a global initiative by the Gulf charity and children’s organization to provide education to children in need and help achieve the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015.

Although 126,000 children in Djibouti are old enough to go to primary school, tens of thousands of them are not enrolled. Of these, more than half are girls.

“This partnership with Dubai Cares will provide invaluable support to schoolchildren in Djibouti,” said Aloys Kamuragiye, UNICEF Representative in Djibouti. “Our joint efforts will help boost access to quality primary education and close the gender gap between boys and girls. It will also assist Djibouti in its efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals related to education.”

Under the new partnership, UNICEF will use nearly $1.9 million in funds donated by Dubai Cares to build new schools and rehabilitate existing ones; encourage school enrolment through advocacy and social mobilization; improve the quality of education through teacher training; and improve the school environment by providing equipment, water and sanitation services, and life-skills education.

Other objectives for the programme include reducing dropout rates and developing a national strategy on non-formal education.

UNICEF and Dubai Cares announced on 19 February 2008 a new partnership to boost access for children to education, as part of a campaign by Dubai Cares to bring education to one million children in need. Through this partnership, Dubai Cares will help build and finance a variety of programmes related to the value chain of primary education in developing countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, South Asia and the Middle East. Using its expertise and presence on the ground, UNICEF will support actions to build new schools and rehabilitate existing ones, improve the quality of education, and achieve gender equality.

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.

About Dubai Cares:
Launched in September 2007 by HH Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Dubai Cares is a city-wide initiative that has raised US$1 billion to help educate 1 million children in poor countries. The funds will support education programmes by UNICEF and other partners.

For further information, please contact:
Geoffrey Keele, UNICEF New York, +1-212-326-7583,
Najwa Mekki, UNICEF New York, +1-212-326-7162,
Abdel-Rahman Ghandour, UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, +962(6)5502407,