Japan donates millions to Iraqi displaced children education fund

In an effort to support long-term stabilization in Iraq the Japanese government has donated $3 million for child education in the war-torn country, according to the United Nations, that would help provide learning spaces and recreational activities for displaced children. 

“The Government of Japan’s generous donation US $3 million will ensure boys and girls affected by the crises have safe access to education,” the UN mission in Iraq said in a statement on Sunday. Schooling, says the UN statement, “not only gives [children] learning opportunities, but also gives them a sense of normalcy, teaches them important life skills, strengthens their resilience and restores their hope for a better life.” 

The organization reports that since May 2016 continuous military operations have led to the displacement of approximately 200,000 civilians; including over 85,000 people in Anbar Governorate and 18,000 families in areas around Mosul. 

Among the displaced people, half of are children who have missed out on up to two years of education. “The children of Iraq have suffered tremendous losses over the past years.” UNICEF Iraq Country Representative Peter Hawkins was quoted as saying. 

Hawkins added, “Without an opportunity to regain their childhood, they will not be able to grow into productive adults. A quality education is not only their right, but is the best chance these children have to get back their childhood and become the leaders of tomorrow who can rebuild an Iraq that once again becomes a regional and world intellectual leader,” 

The grant from the Japanese government will allow UNICEF and its partners to establish educational opportunities for displaced children between the ages of 5 to 17 years from Fallujah and Ramadi, according to the UN, based in multiple displacement camps throughout Anbar province. 

“Specific activities will include establishing temporary learning spaces in tented classrooms or rented spaces, provision of education materials, teacher training, and recreational activities,” said the UN mission in Baghdad. 

The UN reports that “Political instability, protracted internal violence and mass displacement in Iraq continue to destroy childhoods in Iraq,” and that since the start of this year an estimated 10 million people, including 2 million outside government-controlled areas are in need of some kind of humanitarian support. 

“While at least 3 million Iraqis, around 47 percent children under 18 years, were displaced and forced to cope with disrupted lives, loss of livelihoods, and disintegration of social networks.” the organization said. UN’s child education agency UNICEF says that it needs approximately $70 million for its 2016 emergency and regular programming. 

by Rudaw

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