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Estonia Supports Children’s Access to Education in Central African Republic

03.12.2013

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will allocate 80,000 Euros to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for activities related to the improvement of children’s access to education in the Central African Republic, including by paying attention to gender equality.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the result of the coup that occurred in the Central African Republic in March of this year is that there is a lack of public order, large-scale human rights violations are taking place, and the entire society is affected by the critical humanitarian situation. “Unfortunately, the difficult situation also affects children; 60% of schools in the country are closed and 7 out of 10 children have not returned to school after the rebel military campaign began in the end of 2012,” added the minister. “We support the UNICEF project to reach nearly 60,000 children, reopen schools, bring children and teachers back to school, ensure continued access to studies, and improve the quality of education provided by the schools,” added Paet.

The Central African Republic, which is one of the poorest countries in the world, has been unstable since independence in 1960. The number of internally displaced people has suddenly increased since September. According to the data of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the number is currently about 400,000 – 460,000. The population of the country is roughly five million people, almost half of which are children.

In addition to acute catastrophes caused by nature or human activity, Estonia is paying ever more attention to long-term crises and has supported the Central African Republic in 2012 as well as in the beginning of this year.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports UNICEF’s activity in the Central African Republic with resources from the 2013 development and humanitarian assistance budget. 

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