EU Gives €33mln to UN Agencies to Restore Schools in Conflict-hit Areas

ADDIS ABABA – European Union on Monday donated €33 million to two United Nations agencies to restore education services and provide school meals in parts of conflict-affected northern Ethiopia.

The EU signed grant agreements with UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP) in Addis Ababa on Monday.

UNICEF received €26.8 million grant to rebuild and rehabilitate 60 schools while WFP get €6.2mln from the EU for nutritious school meals to 50,000 children.

Over 8,500 schools have either been partially damaged or destroyed due to recent conflicts across the country.

The latest support will support rebuilding 60 schools and help to provide nutritious school meals to 50,000 children in schools across conflict-affected northern Ethiopia.

Roland Kobia, Ambassador of the EU to Ethiopia said Children’s safe access to quality education “is critical to the future of the country.”

“As we begin to build the pathway to peace, the EU is committed to getting children back into the classroom, where they belong,” said Ambassador Kobia.

The education component implemented by UNICEF, will include the rehabilitation of schools, reduce rates of school dropouts and also scale up the ‘My Home-Bete’ approach.

The approach “combines accelerated learning, child protection, and life skills training in schools,“ said Gianfranco Rotigliano, UNICEF Representative in Ethiopia.

WFP’s school meals will ensure that conflict-affected school-age girls and boys continue to receive access to food, and attract children to enroll in school and continue their education.

“Our strong, combined approach together with the EU and UNICEF is essential to support children and their families to get back on their feet and rebuild their livelihoods,” noted Claude Jibidar, WFP Ethiopia Country Director.