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Finland to support education in Nepal, Syria

Published : 10 Dec 2019, 03:17

  DF Report

New toilets and a hand washing point have been built at the Bimala Madai School in the municipality of Aalital with the support of Finland and the EU. Photo: Hanna Päivärinta/Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Finland will allocate EUR 8 million from development cooperation funds to the work of the United Nations Children's Fund in Nepal.

The funding of Unicef’s country programme will improve the quality of teaching for the next three years, as well as the water and sanitation services of communities and schools, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a press release.

Unicef’s education project in Nepal aims to improve the quality of early childhood education and basic education. Today, most Nepalese children go to school, but basic skills may not be learned.

The purpose is to bring people in need of special support, such as the disabled and the poorest and most discriminated children, to school education. The aim is for children to have access to education in their mother tongue and then get better starting points for learning.

Another Unicef project improves the availability, sanitation and hygiene awareness of clean drinking water in communities and schools. Clean drinking water reduces diseases, and toilets have an important role in girls’ schooling.

“Finland wants to promote the education of women and girls and to ensure access to clean drinking water and sanitation for all. Through cooperation with Unicef, Finland makes use of synergies resulting from the work of various actors and sectors to achieve sustainable development,” said Finnish Ambassador to Nepal Pertti Anttinen.

Meanwhile, Finland will allocate EUR 3 million through Unicef to support the most vulnerable children’s access to education in Syria.

Finland’s support will be used for renovating school buildings, supporting non-formal education of 4,500 children by offering out-of-school lessons, psychosocial support and learning materials, and improving access to school and basic services for 500 children with disabilities.

“Improving children’s education means investment in the future of Syrian people. Over two million children in Syria are out of school. We cannot afford losing this generation. In 2018, more than 70,000 children enrolled in school in Syria thanks to the cooperation between Finland and Unicef. This is a good start. This time our aim is to help children with disabilities start school and to support their families,” said, Ambassador of Finland to Lebanon Tarja Fernández.

The project is a continuation of Finland’s earlier support of education in Syria in 2017-2018. In addition to the children who started school, nearly 29,000 young people benefited from the support in the form of vocational training, for example.

Finland has supported Unicef’s work promoting Syrian children’s access to education in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, too. Finland’s total assistance in response to the crisis in Syria in 2019 is approximately EUR 25 million.

The support consists of both humanitarian aid and development cooperation funding both within Syria and in its neighbouring countries.