UNICEF, EU support integration of refugee children into the Sudanese education system
KHARTOUM 11 January 2021 – To support the integration of refugee children into Sudan’s national education system, UNICEF in partnership with the European Union (EU) launched a project on the Integration and Mainstreaming of Refugee Children into the Sudanese Education System (IRCSES) in South Darfur and South Kordofan.
Children who are out of school have a higher risk of falling victim to violence, abuse and exploitation. An estimated 2.9 million children (6-13 years) are out of school in Sudan, with refugee and internally displaced children being among the most vulnerable.
The European Union (EU) funded project will take place in targeted areas in four localities in South Kordofan (El Leri and Abu Jubaiha localities) and South Darfur states (El Radoum and Beliel localities) at a total cost of USD 11 million.
While the international Refugee Convention-of which Sudan is a signatory- states all persons of refugee status are eligible for elementary education from the host countries, only few refugees in Sudan are enrolled in school. In the 1,271 public schools that are currently hosting refugees throughout country, refugee enrollment does not account for more than five per cent of the total enrolment.
“Education is essential to the progression of any country. It is a core foundation of human development with the power to positively transform and is a building block to a more peaceful and equitable world. Access to education for refugee and internally displaced children remains a key challenge in Sudan. The IRCSES project will help more young people access their right to education, advance and make a difference,” said Sara McGinty, Chief of Education, UNICEF Sudan.
“Education plays a crucial role in guiding displaced people, refugees and other migrants adapting to a new environment and culture and helps them establish social relations within their host communities. In a country where education is a challenge, it is of utmost importance for the EU to support Sudan in its efforts to integrate those more vulnerable categories of children to help them to have the same chances as the other children,” said Fabien Schaeffer, Programme Officer Education and Culture sectors EU Sudan.
UNICEF and EU will support the Sudanese government with the development of a national inclusive education policy and action plan for refugees and host communities. This will include internally displaced persons (IDP) and increase access to safe and inclusive quality basic education for 20,000 boys and girls from the refugee, IDP and host communities.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child and is committed to the children of Sudan. We never give up on finding solutions that provide immediate help to save the lives of children or provide durable support so that those children grow up with dignity, health and an education.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.
About European Union (EU) and Sudan
Worldwide EU fosters sustainable development and stability in developing countries, with the ultimate goal of eradicating extreme poverty. Its development policy is based on the fundamental principles laid out in European treaties, agreements, and strategies. It implements international objectives which the EU helped develop and committed to achieve, such as the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.