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More than 75,000 children to receive education in emergency services On 26 March, a joint United Nations programme on education in emergency was launched in Aweil town, Northern Bahr el Ghazal. The programme aims to provide hot daily meals to over 75,000 school children, train some 1,600 teachers, equip learners with educational supplies and provide psychosocial support services for more than 40,000 children and adolescents.
The five-year programme, funded by the European Union, will be implemented in 150 schools in the former Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap and Eastern Equatoria states.
“For children to develop their full potential and continue learning, access to safe and protective learning environments is crucial, and this is what the programme will do,” said UNICEF South Sudan Representative, Mohamed Ag Ayoya. “This combination of essential services provided to the children will be an important contribution to more resilient and peaceful communities.” “Every day, countless children across the country turn up for school on an empty stomach,” said Ronald Sibanda, WFP’s Acting Country Director in South Sudan. “For all of them, food at school every day makes the difference. It means better nutrition and health, but also increased access to and achievement in education as well as a strong incentive for parents not only to send children to school but also to keep them there.”
The joint activities implemented by UNICEF and the World Food Programme will also help participating schools establish school gardens, where children can learn good farming practices, while supplementing their school meals with fresh produce from the garden.
The five years of violence and insecurity have taken a devastating toll on children across the country. An estimated 1.2 million children are acutely malnourished – the highest number since the conflict began. Some 2.2 million children are not receiving an education, giving South Sudan the highest proportion of out of school children in the world.