Pernille Ironside, Chief of the UNICEF field office in Gaza has staed that â€śUNICEF and its partners will be playing a full part in the longer-term reconstruction of schools and the rest of the education infrastructure in Gaza,’ stressing that it â€śwould require donors to step forward with the necessary funds.â€ťThe statement notes that UNICEFâ€™s Back to School campaign is budgeted at just over $16 million, until the end of this year.
â€śChildren have suffered appalling losses as a result of the conflict,â€ť said Pernille Ironside, Chief UNICEF Gaza Field Office. â€śThatâ€™s why itâ€™s so vital that we get as many children as possible back into school immediately, so the healing process can begin in that more familiar environment,â€ť the statement further declared.
According to a report by WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency, UNICEF is playing a key role in urgent preparations underway in Gaza, just ahead of the start of a new academic year on Sunday (September 14th).
The resumption of classes in 395 government-run schools across the territory has been delayed due to the brutal 50-day Israeli assault that ended in a currently unresolved a ceasefire, on August 26th.
WAFA further reports that, over the coming week, UNICEFâ€™s team on the ground will be focusing on four key areas:
Â· Coordination to ensure that children displaced by the fighting, or whose schools suffered heavy damage, are able to join a school in their neighborhood;
Â· Carrying out immediate repairs and cleaning on schools that were used to shelter families displaced by the violence;
Â· Planning and organization of a week of special recreational sessions for all schools, designed to allow trained staff to identify children who have been more seriously traumatized by the conflict — and then refer them for specialized support;
Â· Procurement and provision of school bags, school stationery and teaching aids; and school uniforms and shoes to assist priority families who are vulnerable.
Full report at WAFA.