Amman, Jordan (June 7, 2007) - Deeply concerned about the status of more than 500,000 Iraqi children who have fled their homeland, the International Save the Children Alliance is seeking $10 million over two years to assist displaced Iraqi children now living in neighbouring countries.
Save the Children USA is working to support the Ministry of Education in Jordan in its efforts to address the educational needs of up to 50,000 displaced Iraqi children in Jordan.
"We are seeking immediate support to assist Iraqi children and their families at this critical stage of the crisis," said Dennis Walto, who heads Save the Children's country office in Jordan. "Getting displaced children into school can play a key role in helping them adjust to their new surroundings and give them hope for the future."
Save the Children's programs in Jordan will initially focus on the educational needs of Iraqi children from pre-school to early adulthood. The agency's initial goals are to:
- Increase the number of Iraqi children attending formal and non-formal Kindergartens and pre-schools and work with parents of vulnerable children to improve the transition from home to school.
- Get children who should be in primary school enrolled for the 2007/2008 school semester that begins in August 2007.
- Provide non-formal education - including information technology, life skills and physical education - for vulnerable adolescents and youth ages 14-24.
Save the Children also is working directly with host country governments, the United Nations, and donors to assist Iraq's neighbouring countries in developing comprehensive national plans to educate displaced Iraqi children.
"The time is now to plan for and enroll the tens of thousands of vulnerable children who are not currently going to school. Education for today is hope for tomorrow - we must not lose this window of opportunity." Walto said.