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150,000 children in Niger benefit from Dubai Cares and UNICEF Education Project


Programme will focus on reducing gender disparity

DUBAI, July 2008 – Dubai Cares, a charitable organization that aims to provide primary education to one million children in developing countries, today provided UNICEF with nearly 1.2 million dollars to fund educational programmes in Niger.

The Niger initiative follows Dubai Cares’ previous partnerships with UNICEF in Djibouti, Sudan and Yemen and will eventually help fund education programmes in 12 countries.

The Dubai Cares donation will benefit approximately 150,000 school children along with primary school teachers, parent teacher associations, school management committees, education civil servants and NGO’s programmes.

Basic school kits will be supplied to children as part of the initiative, which will help increase the number of children enrolled in 600 schools around the country. In addition, the programme will also provide classroom furniture for 200 schools and building materials to construct 50 emergency learning centres.

Increasing rural school enrolment rates along with improving sanitation facilities in 200 schools and increasing the attendance rate of girls are the other key components of the programme.

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Chairperson of Dubai Cares Board of Directors, said: “Almost 50 per cent of Niger’s villages do not have functional primary schools, with very few pre-schools or kindergarten centers to support child survival or readiness towards education. Our project will focus on increasing educational opportunities for children, especially girls, in the most remote and marginalized communities.”

According to 2006 data, Niger has one of the poorest education indicators in the world with a female literacy rate of only 14.8 per cent, one of the lowest in the world. The education system faces enormous challenges in terms of access and quality with limited government funding for education.

"In light of the current needs which are enormous in the education sector in Niger, and noting the efforts and commitment of the Government to both increase access to and the quality of education in the country, significant contributions from donors such as Dubai Cares are crucial towards making further major steps forward to ensure that all children receive a quality education in Niger. UNICEF therefore wishes to thank Dubai Cares for their invaluable support,” said Akhil Lyer, UNICEF Representative in Niger.

Dubai Cares will also support UNICEF in offering basic training to nearly 1,000 newly recruited teachers along with training in subjects related to community development such as hygiene, nutrition and sanitation.

Dubai Cares has prioritized 12 countries that experience the highest gap in primary education, which include Bangladesh, Bosnia, Chad, Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Maldives, Mauritania, Niger, Pakistan, Occupied Palestinian territories, Sudan, and Yemen; and Palestinian refugee communities in Lebanon and Jordan.


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