By Aminat Isah
The German Government has announced a new contribution of 15 million euros to United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Nigeria to support the Government of Nigeria in providing 1,060,000 conflict-affected children and adolescents with increased access to quality education in a safe and healthy learning environment.
The support provided through the German Government’s Development Bank -Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), is a new contribution to enable UNICEF provide quality and equitable basic education and strengthen the resilience of the most vulnerable communities, especially children, in Adamawa and Yobe states.
The support will equally provide 8,200 teachers with increased capacity to deliver quality learning at pre-primary and primary levels and also give support to 500 school-based management committees to plan and maintain a safe and healthy learning environment in schools, with increased community participation.
Prior to the crisis, the North East had the highest percentage (52 per cent) of children who never attended schools, with at least 17.1 per cent in Adamawa state and 73 per cent in Yobe state. While the North East had the highest children drop-out rates, at 3.2 per cent (4.4 for Adamawa and 1.6 for Yobe). The current situation shows a decline in the total number of schools by 22 per cent and a decline in total enrollment by 38 per cent.
The KfW contribution will also support UNICEF’s work to link humanitarian needs and long-term development opportunities in target conflict-affected communities in north-east Nigeria.
UNICEF country Representative Mohamed Fall said the investment is timely, coming at a time when UNICEF is redoubling efforts towards improving both access and quality of education for conflict-affected children.
Fall noted that Investing in education is perhaps the best investment any nation can make for its children, as all children, regardless of their situation, must be supported to access all their basic rights
The German Government is a long-standing partner of UNICEF Nigeria, having contributed over 21 million euros towards the humanitarian and development response in Nigeria since 2016.