Spain steps-up support for education in occupied Palestinian territory

Palestinian students on their way to the first school day of the new semester in the West Bank town of Ramallah September 3, 2005. (MAANnews/Mushir Abdelrahman)

JERUSALEM — The Government of Spain has stepped-up its support to UNICEF education humanitarian action through contributing €1 million (US$ 1.2 million) for Palestinian children in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).

The major issue of concern in education is to ensure full access to learning opportunities and to guarantee good-quality learning in a child-friendly environment. The quality of education is showing signs of decline and in the worst affected areas, the learning achievements for students are deteriorating. Few children have the opportunity to experience a child-friendly learning environment with safe spaces and opportunities for sports and recreation. This is why the support from Spain comes at a critical time, said UNICEF Special Representative Dan Rohrmann.

Acknowledging the enormous difficulties Palestinian school children and teachers face, Spain is committed to ensuring that children can continue their learning while not having full access to education services and that they can receive help in catching-up when they can reach school again. “Our initiative to support the basic education for Palestinian children, will contribute to the important goal of providing continuous quality education as well as adequate environment for the development of future Palestinian generations”, said H.E. Mr. José María Ferré de la Peña, Consul General of Spain in Jerusalem.

Children’s education is a key priority for the Palestinian Authority towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals and creating a World Fit for Children. UNICEF is supporting the efforts to achieve this ambitious goal. Spain’s support is crucial at this point in time and represents a major boost in helping more than 45,000 of the most affected Palestinian school children in receiving needed learning and school materials. This contribution will also empower school teachers with needed skills to enable them to provide quality learning added Rohrmann.

At the global level, Spain is a key partner with UNICEF. A framework agreement exists outlining the spirit of cooperation and providing a platform for consultations with a view to identifying areas of common interest and possible cooperation. For UNICEF OPT, this donation is the largest ever from the Government of Spain, reinforcing the already strong partnership.

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