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USAID, UNICEF earmark $17m for war-displaced children

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May 30, 2014 (JUBA) – The United States aid arm (USAID) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have earmarked $17m partnership fund to provide emergency education to girls, boys and youth forced to flee their homes by fighting in South Sudan.

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Dina Esposit (L) and Linda Etim speaking to press at Bor airport May 30, 2014 (ST)

The US government will reportedly provide funds for the project to be implemented by UNICEF. It will specifically target internally displaced children, including those in the protection of civilian areas within the UN compounds in South Sudan as well as host communities.

“The new partnership gives girls, boys and youth a safe space in the midst of increased risks of trauma, injury, exploitation and abuse,” said USAID’s deputy assistant administrator, Linda Etim.

“Education in emergencies is the first measure in creating a sense of normalcy in the lives of children affected by violence and conflict", she stressed.

The intervention will reportedly provide safe and protective temporary learning spaces, supply teaching and learning materials, support accelerated learning for out-of-school adolescents and youth, train teachers in life skills, peacebuilding and psychosocial support.

The project, officials said, will also deliver lifesaving messages in coordination with the ministries of education, science and technology, health and other partners.

“In addition to the obvious need for continuing children’s education, education in emergencies actually saves lives by supporting children and adolescents with essential messages about how to maintain health in the crowded temporary shelters where they live,” said Jonathan Veitch, UNICEF’s representative in South Sudan.

“It also helps to build social cohesion and to teach children about alternatives to violence in resolving conflict, as well as giving them a positive and constructive routine in the midst of the chaos and trauma of life in this devastating emergency", he added.

The displaced children in Jonglei, Unity, Upper Nile, Lakes, Central and Eastern Equatoria states, who have severely been affected by the five-months conflict, will reportedly benefit from the project.

(ST)

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