UNICEF Global Press Release with information on Ethiopia: Funding shortfalls threaten education for children living in conflict and disaster zones

Funding shortfalls are threatening education for millions of children caught up in conflicts or disasters, UNICEF said today ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg.

Of the $932 million needed this year for its education programmes in emergency countries, UNICEF has so far received recorded voluntary contributions of less than $115 million.[1] The funds are necessary to give 9.2 million children affected by humanitarian crises access to formal and non-formal basic education.[2]

“Without education, children grow up without the knowledge and skills they need to contribute to the peace and the development of their countries and economies, aggravating an already desperate situation for millions of children,” said Muzoon Almellehan, UNICEF’s latest – and youngest – Goodwill Ambassador, speaking from Hamburg, Germany, where she is representing UNICEF at the G20 Summit. “For the millions of children growing up in war zones, the threats are even more daunting: Not going to school leaves children vulnerable to early marriage, child labour and recruitment by armed forces.”

Funding gaps for UNICEF education programmes in some of the world’s hot spots vary from 36 per cent in Iraq, to 64 per cent in Syria, 74 per cent in Yemen and 78 per cent in the Central African Republic.

Pursuing educational opportunities has been cited as one of the push factors leading families and children to flee their homes, often at great risk to their lives. A survey of refugee and migrant children in Italy revealed that 38 per cent of them headed to Europe to gain access to learning opportunities. A similar survey in Greece showed that one in three parents or caretakers said that seeking education for their children was the main reason they left their countries for Europe.

For children who have experienced the trauma of war and displacement, education can be life-saving. “When I fled Syria in 2013, I was terrified I would never be able to return to school. But when I arrived in Jordan and realized there was a school in the camp, I was relieved and hopeful,” said Muzoon. “School gives children like me a lifeline and the chance of a peaceful and positive future.”

As an education activist and Syrian refugee, Muzoon joins forces with UNICEF to speak out on behalf of the millions of children who have been uprooted by conflict and are missing out on school.

“I urge world leaders to invest in the futures of children living in emergencies — and by doing so invest in the future of our world,” Muzoon said.

Information on Ethiopia:

In Ethiopia, the education system remains vulnerable to natural disasters and manmade emergencies despite the significant advancements in expanded access to general education for children and young people. The past two years of successive drought have forced many students to drop-out of school and have lessened the quality of education, with hundreds of schools closing and families, including students and teachers, moving in search of water. At the end of the 2016/17 academic year, over 200 primary schools remain closed.

UNICEF Ethiopia works closely with the Ethiopian Ministry of Education to ensure equity and access for all children to education in the country. Interventions include the planning and coordination of education emergency responses and supporting the Ministry of Education to ensure that assistance to schools across the most drought-affected regions is efficiently targeted. UNICEF also assists regional education bureaus with the provision of primary school teaching and learning materials, water and sanitation services to schools, as well as support to offset the additional costs schools are bearing to stay open during drought. Furthermore, communities hosting displaced families and their children have been provided with temporary learning facilities.

In 2017, an estimated 2.7 million children require support to continue their education, including nearly 100,000 internally displaced children. In addition, an estimated 369,038 refugee children require further support to enable access to educational facilities.

As of early July, the funding gap for the education sector’s 2017 commitment remains at 57 per cent, with only US$5 million of the required US$11.6 million available to ensure children in emergency-affected areas stay in school.

[1] This figure does not include funds received for multi-sector work, which may include education, or funds received that are not earmarked to a sector.

[2] Despite the low level of funding received this year, UNICEF is achieving significant education results for children in emergency settings thanks to generous support from partners in previous years.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

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Source:: UNICEF Global Press Release with information on Ethiopia: Funding shortfalls threaten education for children living in conflict and disaster zones

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High Commissioner Chikonde assures travelers to Zambia of peace, no disruption to normal business and welcoming environment

The High Commission of the Republic of Zambia in the United Kingdom would like to assure travelers to Zambia that there is no disruption to normal business and the country continues to operate in a peaceful and welcoming environment.

This follows the proclamation by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu of a situation likely to cause state of public emergency on 5th July 2017 through a statutory instrument number 53 of 2017 as provided for under article 31 of the constitution of the Republic of Zambia.

Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom His Mr. Muyeba Chikonde said during a meeting with African Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA) Chief Executive Officer Nigel Vere Nicoll and First Secretary- Tourism Mr. Donald Pelekamoyo that Zambia will remain a peaceful destination and that it will continue to meet the expectations of the British travelling public.

“We appreciate the role that ATTA plays in guiding and addressing the various issues affecting its members in the United Kingdom. Zambia continues to be a beacon of peace in the region and will strive to remain so, “he said.

High Commissioner Chikonde emphasised that there is No State of Emergency in Zambia, thus free movement in and around Zambia is assured adding that the proclamation measures are designed to enhance security and ensure public safety.

African Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA) is a member-driven trade association that promotes tourism to Africa from all corners of the world. It is recognised as the Voice of African Tourism. ATTA serves and supports businesses in Africa representing buyers and suppliers of tourism product across 22 African countries. With over 550 members, ATTA acts as Pan-Africa’s largest network of tourism product covering not only accommodation, transport and travel specialists in Africa, but a formidable selection of tour operators, representation and Public Relations companies’ worldwide promoting tourism to Africa. ATTA represents African tourism interests at the highest levels, in a continuing dialogue with many tourism ministries, tourist authorities and associations across the African continent.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Zambia High Commission in the United Kingdom.

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IMF Staff Completes Second Review Mission of the Precautionary and Liquidity Line for Morocco

  • Overall, Morocco’s economic policies and fundamentals are sound.
  • The Moroccan authorities continue to pursue fiscal, financial, and structural reforms that support higher and inclusive growth.
  • IMF team supports Morocco’s reform efforts to reduce unemployment and regional and social disparities.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team led by Nicolas Blancher visited Morocco from June 29 to July 10, 2017 to conduct discussions with the Moroccan authorities on the second review under the Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) arrangement. The IMF Executive Board approved the PLL arrangement for Morocco in the amount of SDR 2.504 billion (about US$3.42 billion) in July 2016 (See Press Release No. 16/355). The authorities have not drawn on the PLL and intend to keep the arrangement as precautionary.

At the conclusion of the mission, Mr. Blancher made the following statement:

“Morocco’s macroeconomic policies and performance remained sound, despite volatility in agricultural output, weak growth in trading partners, and elevated external risks. The Moroccan authorities remain committed to important fiscal, financial and structural reforms, which should strengthen the economy’s resilience to external shocks and support higher, more inclusive growth.

“Overall, macroeconomic fundamentals and the prospects for 2017 are sound: following last year’s drought, growth is expected to rebound this year to 4.8 percent, driven by strong recovery in the agricultural sector, while non-agricultural growth, which has remained subdued, should pick up modestly by 0.2 percentage points. Inflation is expected to slow to 0.9 percent for the year. Unemployment remains high, especially among the youth and women.

“The current account deficit should reduce to 4.0 percent of GDP in 2017, due to continued export growth and despite an increase in energy imports. Gross international reserves are expected to reach about US$24 billion at the end of 2017, about 6 months of imports. The IMF team welcomes the authorities’ intention to gradually move to a more flexible exchange rate regime, which would allow the Moroccan economy to better absorb external shocks and preserve competitiveness in the future.

“The fiscal deficit is projected to narrow to 3.5 percent of GDP by 2017, due to stronger revenue performance and contained spending. The IMF team welcomed the authorities’ plans to continue fiscal reforms, especially towards a more equitable and fairer tax system, and to reduce public debt to 60 percent of GDP by 2021. These efforts are critical to increase the fiscal space needed to reduce poverty and to promote employment through public spending, in particular investment and social programs targeted towards the poorest segments of the population and that help to reduce inequalities.

“The IMF team welcomes the progress made in strengthening financial sector soundness, and encourages the authorities to accelerate structural reforms to improve the business climate and governance, combat corruption, reduce unemployment, particularly among the youth, lessen regional and social disparities, and reform the educational system to create more skilled workers.

“The IMF team would like to thank the Moroccan authorities, as well as private sector and civil society organizations, for the constructive discussions and for their hospitality.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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UNHCR welcomes the support of the European Union for South Sudanese new arrivals in Sudan

UNHCR’s Representative in Sudan, Noriko Yoshida, welcomed the contribution of EUR 3.1 million in humanitarian funds from the European Union (EU) for South Sudanese new arrivals in Sudan.

“We are seeing a great increase in the number of refugees coming across the border into Sudan, indicating that things are not getting better in South Sudan despite all our hopes for peace and security there. Support from the EU and others is heartily welcomed”, Yoshida said.

Nearly 160,000 South Sudanese refugees have newly arrived in Sudan in the first half of 2017. Yoshida expressed her gratitude to Sudan for its continued generosity hosting over 400,000 South Sudanese refugees since December 2013, and an estimated 350,000 South Sudanese remaining in Sudan following South Sudan’s secession.

Impressed by the generosity of ordinary Sudanese people who share very limited resources with South Sudanese refugees in dire need, Yoshida said UNHCR and its partners are seeking to scale up their assistance to host communities receiving refugees.

“More funding is needed so that we can meet the existing and growing needs of refugees and host communities. Support from EU and other donors will ensure we have the resources to meet immediate needs and put in place adequate services to improve the quality of the current response”.

EU humanitarian funding covers three states (White Nile, East and South Darfur states) out of five states which have been considerably affected by the influx of South Sudanese refugees. The funding is earmarked to registration activities, reception support and shelter and provision of basic household items.

EU humanitarian aid has previously supported UNHCR in the response and provided EUR 4.4 million in 2016 towards UNHCR’s efforts to respond to critical life-saving needs.

UNHCR and its partners have appealed through a Refugee Response Plan for USD 221 million in 2017 to assist refugees and host communities in Sudan. As of June 2017 less than 20% of the funds have been received.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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