UNICEF welcomes Jordanís offer of education to Iraqi children
UNICEF welcomes the Government of Jordanís recent announcement that it will open all public schools to Iraqi children. They and their families have fled violence from neighbouring Iraq and have encountered numerous obstacles as they resettle. Many have lost a parent, a teacher, their friends and their place in communities. A large proportion of Iraqi children living in Jordan had not attended school for years.
For the first time, when Jordanian public schools start classes on 19 August, they will open their doors to these children, regardless of whether they possess a residency permit or not. Previously, formal education was available only to Iraqis holding residency permits.
UNICEF has been supporting education of Iraqi children in Iraq and through the region, and in July launched a joint, $129 million appeal with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to support host governments such as Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon in providing schooling for 155,000 Iraqi children for the 2007-2008 academic year, including 50,000 in Jordan. These funds are needed urgently to allow children to begin the school year in a little over a week, and also to ensure that they can continue their education into 2008.
Education is a right for all children, including those in emergencies. Schools restore a sense of normalcy to children whose lives have been disrupted by violence and/or displacement, and provide the forum to deliver interventions beyond education.
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