Khartoum — As part of their continued commitment to children affected by conflict, the EU has contributed €1 million to support UNICEF's Education in Emergencies (EiE) programme in Sudan. This will ensure access to basic education for almost 15,000 children in Sudan.
The Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, currently on a visit to Sudan: "I just visited the Darfur region. I saw how traumatic and devastating the conflicts were for children in Sudan, both for those fleeing South Sudan and Sudanese uprooted for many years from their homes by violence. It is a priority for the EU to give these children a chance to go to school. It is our moral duty to give them hope for a better future, through education."
According to the 2017 Sudan Humanitarian Needs Overview, there are four million school aged children (4-16 years) living in eight conflict affected states in Sudan. An estimated 1.8 million of these children are in need of education in emergency support. The school enrolment rate in these states currently stands at 51 per cent, which is lower than the 59 per cent average across the rest of the country.
"Education not only provides an immediate sense of normalcy for children in crisis, it also is the foundation of community cohesion and a chance for a better future. Despite this fact, education unfortunately remains the most underfunded of our emergency sectors, and we are pleased that ECHO is taking a lead globally in advocating for the importance of education in emergencies" says Abdullah Fadil, UNICEF Sudan Representative.
This generous contribution will be crucial in reaching thousands of the most vulnerable school aged children. More specifically, it will restore access to education for almost 15,000 school-aged conflict affected children, fifty percent of whom are girls, in North Darfur, East Darfur and West Kordofan states. Support will also be provided to the construction and rehabilitation of classrooms including water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.
Additionally, capacity development will be provided to 330 teachers and 210 parent teacher association (PTA) members. Teacher training will include education in emergencies, interactive teaching, psychosocial support, and community cohesion for quality education and violence prevention. This EU-UNICEF partnership will also support life skills and extra-curricular activities for conflict-affected children and adolescents, through the formation of children school clubs for hygiene promotion and sports.
In 2016, through the contribution of the EU and other donors, UNICEF and its implementing partners enabled almost 280,000 out of schoolchildren from rural areas, nomadic and emergency affected communities, access to basic and alternative learning programmes.