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Global initiative earmarks USD 165 mln for education in Ethiopia

Global initiative earmarks USD 165 mln for education in Ethiopia

Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is allocating USD 165 million, a three year initiative to help educate children affected by war and conflicts across Ethiopia.

To help achieve its goal, the group is investing USD 27 million as seed grant while the balance is to be fund-raised. It estimates it will ultimately educate 746,000 children, from which 365,000 will be girls.

“Working with the Government and all our ECW partners, this investment provides protective learning environment and inclusive quality education to girls and boys living in very difficult circumstances,” the ECW Director, Yasmine Sherif said at an announcement held at Skylight Hotel. “We must not leave them behind. They too have a right to develop and thrive. They have so much to achieve and give. By working together in mobilizing all the required resources, we now have a chance to ensure that no child in Ethiopia is left behind,” she said.

She highlighted the target would be those children affected by recurring social issues in the country, including those affected by violence, drought and displacements, which affects millions of people every year. While the target is to offer early childhood and primary education, the initiative will also offer refugee teacher up to a diploma level of certification in order to be eligible.

Ethiopia’s State Minister of Education, Tsion Teklu, who was recently with ECW Director visiting school aged children in the Somali and Oromia Regional States, reiterated the value of such an effort and addressed the criticisms on why Ethiopia continues to rely on international donors for such a potentially trans-formative initiative.

“While this is what it seems, at the Ministry, we rely on local partnerships to help build schools across the nation, and I will point out that, such an initiative is one that was co-started by (Olympian) Haile Gebreselassie to build schools in the country,” she said.

Among the implementing partners are the Ethiopian Ministry of Education, The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Save the Children International and other local civic organizations.

It is estimated, within Ethiopia, about 728 schools have been damaged by either conflicts or natural disasters.

ECW, was established in 2016 as a direct result of the World Humanitarian Summit initiated by the then Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon. It is known to work in about 30 nations affected by conflicts around the world. The initiative estimates that there are 75 million school aged children in the midst of conflicts and deprived of a chance to be educated.