Pernille Ironside, Chief of the UNICEF field office in Gaza has staed that “UNICEF 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 “would require donors to step forward with the necessary funds.”The statement notes that UNICEF’s Back to School campaign is budgeted at just over $16 million, until the end of this year.
“Children have suffered appalling losses as a result of the conflict,” said Pernille Ironside, Chief UNICEF Gaza Field Office. “That’s why it’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,” 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, UNICEF’s team on the ground will be focusing on four key areas:
· Coordination to ensure that children displaced by the fighting, or whose schools suffered heavy damage, are able to join a school in their neighborhood;
· Carrying out immediate repairs and cleaning on schools that were used to shelter families displaced by the violence;
· 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;
· 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.