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UN Body Announces $11.1m Grant For New Educational Programme In Libya

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the United Nations (UN) global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises has announced US$11.1 million grant aimed at financing a new multi-year educational programme in Libya.

ECW supports quality education outcomes for refugee, internally displaced and other crisis-affected girls and boys, so no one is left behind. It works through the multilateral system to both increase the speed of responses in crises and connect immediate relief and longer-term interventions through multi-year programming.

Moreover, the fund also works in close partnership with governments, public and private donors, UN agencies, civil society organizations, and other humanitarian and development aid actors to increase efficiencies and end siloed responses.

The programme will be delivered through a consortium of partners including the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Terre des Hommes-Italy (TdH-IT) and UNICEF. In addition, ECW and partners have called on donors to urgently mobilize an additional US$18.9 million to fully fund the three-year programme.

Prior to the 2011 revolution, Libya had achieved nearly universal enrolment for primary and secondary education. However, a decade of conflict, economic crisis, displacement and COVID-19 have had a profound and negative impact on the Libyan education system. The 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan estimates that 316,000 girls and boys and 10,000 teachers need urgent humanitarian education support.

The catalytic grant financing will help strengthen education systems, focusing on holistic solutions, gender equality, mental health and psychosocial support, and continuity of education to ensure no child is left behind.

Director of ECW, Yasmine Sherif said the children and youth, including the girls of Libya, can and must no longer be left behind any longer.

“After 10 years of utter chaos and crisis, we must invest in peace, stability and human rights. The most secure way of doing so is to invest now in the new generation. To finally provide hope for safe, quality, protective learning environments for children, youth, girls, refugees – including those with disabilities; hope for the victims of violence; as well as hope for a more peaceful Libya”, she said.

Acting UNICEF Special Representative to Libya, Lana Wreikat noted that the fully funded programme will reach 110,000 crisis-affected children and adolescents with holistic education solutions.

“In reaching the most vulnerable and marginalized, 60 percent of programme beneficiaries are girls, and 10 percent are children with disabilities”, Wreikat added.

The consortium led by NRC will work primarily through a community-based approach, focusing on community schools and centers to provide non-formal education, child protection activities, and psychosocial support for learners who do not have access to the formal education system.

NRC Libya Country Director, Dax Bennett Roque said an inclusive approach to education for children in Libya has never been more important, adding that  after ten years of conflict, children in Libya more than ever need this hope for the future.

“All children in Libya deserve an opportunity to be connected, protected and learning in a safe environment, regardless of their displacement status”, he further stated.

Similarly, the Terre des Hommes-led consortium will support formal and community schools, provide non-formal education, child protection and mental health and psycho-social support activities, and lead the development of a rigorous evidence base to ensure the most vulnerable girls and boys are reached.

Terre des Hommes -Italy Country Delegate, Flavia Pugliese observed that the cycles of conflict in Libya and the COVID-19 pandemic have had a compounding and devastating impact on the state of education for children and youth across the country.

“Education is a right for all, and a right that Terre des Hommes – Italy, ACTED, IMPACT-REACH and their partners are committed to upholding in 2022-2024 under the ECW Multi-Year Resilience Programme”, Pugliese stressed.

The UNICEF-led consortium, according to a statement on Friday, will ensure increased capacity and cross-sectoral engagement for the Ministry of Education and other partners, building the groundwork to ensure every girl and boy – including those living with disabilities – enjoys the safety, protection and opportunity of a quality education.

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