Burundi: Insecurity disrupts UNICEF school-materials distribution programme

News and Press Release
Originally published
NAIROBI, 25 February (IRIN) - Insecurity in Butezi and Bweru communes in Ruyigi Province, eastern Burundi, has disrupted a school-materials distribution programme by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
"Education activities are usually an oasis of normalisation for children affected by conflicts, [but] the ability of many children to partake in education activities is severely undermined in [the] affected communes," OCHA's situation report for 17-23 February quoted UNICEF Education Officer Lawalley Cole as saying.

It said that UNICEF, in line with its framework of education in emergencies, had distributed material such as notebooks and pens to more than 12,000 pupils in Ruyigi in February.

"UNICEF will distribute material for up to 28,000 vulnerable primary school pupils in Ruyigi as soon as access is restored," the report said.

At the same time, the OCHA report said, UNICEF was seeking to address low primary school attendance in Burundi.

"Concerned by the poor enrolment figures of displaced and indigent children in primary school, UNICEF hosted a meeting on 19 February (organised in cooperation with the ministries of education, interior and public security) in order to improve mechanisms for identifying indigent children in the country and facilitate their entry into education," it said.


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