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UNICEF 2011-2012

‘Learning to Survive’: Education in emergencies

On October 5th UNICEF Belgium launched a large scale information, advocacy and fundraising campaign on education in emergencies.

While the right to education is a universal one, worldwide 67 million children do not attend school. More than half of them live in an emergency situation created by war or a natural disaster.

Giving children a chance to go to school, even in the most precarious circumstances, helps them to regain a sense of normality. Moreover, next to knowledge, school also provides children with access to food, water, sanitation, shelter and care. But education also contributes to the reconstruction of the society as a whole, creating a sound base of a trained and educated population supporting the efforts to guide society towards a new and better future.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. In emergency situations it works with governments, NGOs and other partners to support child health, nutrition, safe water, sanitation and the protection of children from violence, exploitation. From the first 72 hours after the start of an emergency UNICEF puts everything into work to provide quality basic education for all boys and girls. About 20 to 25 % of the UNICEF budget is directed towards this purpose. In emergencies UNICEF takes the lead for sanitary and education activities (together with Save the Children).

With its new campaign UNICEF wants to sensitize and mobilise people living in Belgium to support education activities in emergencies.

In order to do so UNICEF Belgium will stage a unique social mobilisation action on its websites and in the streets.

For further information:

In French: www.unicef.be/ecolesdurgence

In Dutch: http://noodschool.be/