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UNICEF To Help 150K Kids In Niger With Dubai Funds

UNICEF to help 150,000 children in Niger with a $1.2 million donation from Dubai charity

18 July 2008 - Some 150,000 children in Niger are set to benefit from a $1.2 million donation to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for school equipment from the charity Dubai Cares.

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 provide classroom furniture for 200 schools and building materials to construct 50 emergency learning centres.

"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," said Akhil Lyer, UNICEF Representative in Niger.

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

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.

"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," Reem Al Hashimy, Chairperson of Dubai Cares Board of Directors, said. "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.

ENDS

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