UNICEF thanks the Government and People of Netherlands for their support to Education for vulnerable IDP, refugee, and host community children in Iraq [EN/AR]
Baghdad, 15 May 2018 – Today, UNICEF Iraq and the Government of the Netherlands have signed an agreement of US$ 6.2 million to support Education for children of refugees, IDP’s and families returning home after the war. The agreement forms part of the new Government of the Netherlands policy to provide targeted support for refugees and displaced persons in the affected locations, including decent education for children in displacement.
Over three years, the Government of Netherlands and UNICEF will enable 150,000 displaced, refugee, and host community children living in camps or returning to retaken areas have access to education.
Due to conflict, two million Iraqi IDPs and nearly a quarter of a million Syrian refugees are still not able to return home. Violence has disrupted learning for more than 3.5 million children who are estimated to be out of school, attending irregularly, or to have lost years of schooling.
The programme will improve access to education for IDP and refugee children focusing on areas most affected by conflict and violence such as Al-Anbar, Dohuk, Kirkuk, and Ninewa by establishment or rehabilitation of schools. It will also support improvements in quality of learning by encouraging a participatory School Based Management approach that engages teachers, parents, and local communities more directly in children’s education, equipping them with skills to identify and implement positive changes in their local schools. Further, at least 5,000 teachers will be trained in updated teaching methods, life skills, citizenship education, and psychosocial support.
“Helping children to access improved quality education will not only ensure recovery today but support a better future for all children” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Iraq.
Marielle Geraedts, Deputy Ambassador of the Netherlands Embassy to Iraq recently visited schools in IDP and refugee camps as well as for returning families in Mosul and the host community in Dohuk: “I have seen with my own eyes how big the burden is that schools carry. Schools sometimes run at double capacity to provide education to returning or still displaced families. Furthermore, it is really concerning that approximately half of the Syrian refugees in Iraq are currently not able to go to school.
The new Dutch government is proud that through this contribution we can support better access to learning for some of the most vulnerable children in Iraq.”
The devastating conflict in Iraq has damaged education infrastructure and weakened local capacity to deliver quality services. This has led to chronic shortages of schools, trained teachers, and learning materials, and has magnified children’s deprivations, making the right to education a dream for many.
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