25 February 2008 The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Gulf charity Dubai Cares have launched a new education initiative to help bolster access to education for children and promote gender equality in the small East African nation of Djibouti.
Although 126,000 children in Djibouti are old enough to go to primary school, tens of thousands of them are not enrolled, and more than half of these are girls.
“This partnership with Dubai Cares will provide invaluable support to schoolchildren in Djibouti,” said Aloys Kamuragiye, UNICEF’s Representative in the country. “Our joint efforts will help boost access to quality primary education and close the gender gap between boys and girls.”
He added that the programme will also help Djibouti in its efforts to reach the anti-poverty targets to be reached by the year 2015, known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly those related to education.
Under the new partnership, UNICEF will use almost $1.9 million in funds donated by Dubai Cares to build new schools and rehabilitate existing ones, as well as to spur school enrolment through awareness-raising.
The agency will also seek to improve the quality of education through teacher training, reduce dropout rates and develop a national strategy on non-formal education.
The partnership between UNICEF and Dubai Cares, announced last week, aims to bring education to one million children in need in Africa, Eastern Europe, South Asia and the Middle East, and help contribute to achieving universal primary education by 2015.
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