Zambia + 1 more

Netherlands Provides US$10 million for UNICEF Education Programme in Zambia

Funding to improve access to equitable quality basic education in 16 priority district

LUSAKA, Zambia, 16 January 2012 (UNICEF) – The Government of the Netherlands is supporting the UNICEF education programme in Zambia with US$10 million (50 trillion Zambian kwacha) with a focus on the most vulnerable children in the country.

“The overall goal of the programme is to contribute to the national targets of improving children’s access to equitable quality education, in line with the Millennium Development Goals and the Sixth National Development Plan. If we are to expect Zambia’s children and adolescents to be able to develop, learn, and participate in a protective and enabling environment, it is our duty and responsibility as a partner country to double our efforts in providing the required support to help us reap these desired results,,” said His Excellency Ambassador Harry Molenaar of the Royal Netherlands Embassy during a signing ceremony in Lusaka.

This agreement comes with the following specific expected results:

· The needs of most vulnerable girls and boys are prioritised and included in the national education policy, strategies, planning, curriculum development, and training in child friendly teaching and learning environment by 2013;

· The needs of the most vulnerable children in 16 target districts are prioritized and included in planning, management, and monitoring of education services at the district and provincial levels;

· 10,000 children in 16 target districts participate in early childhood, care, development, and education services by 2013;

· 500 basic and community schools in 16 target districts are provided with a child friendly learning environment by 2013;

UNICEF will channel the US$10 million contribution through direct financial and technical support to the Ministry of Education, Science and Vocational Training. By the end of 2013, it is expected that systems, policies, and capacities will have been strengthened leading to improved learning achievement for children in target areas, especially the most vulnerable. The programme will be implemented in the following low performing districts: Lukulu, Kalabo, Shangombo, Petauke, Katete, Chama, Milenge, Samfya, Chilubi, Luwingu, Mporokoso, Chiengi, Kaputa, Mbala, Mungwi, and Isoka.

According to the UNICEF Representative to Zambia, Dr. Iyorlumun J. Uhaa, this new investment fits well with the overall collaboration between the Government of the Netherlands and UNICEF in many areas, both at the global and country levels.

“We are excited and looking forward to meeting the challenges and opportunities this arrangement presents to us,” said Dr. Uhaa. “Under the leadership of the Government of the Republic of Zambia, we will implement this programme to achieve tangible and measurable results for children in the target districts.”