The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) on Wednesday announced a contribution of 8.8 million U.S. dollars to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to help children and young people in 87 developing countries access learning opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic, said UNICEF.

The funds will support children’s many needs at this challenging time, from preparing alternative learning programs, to providing vital information on hand-washing and other measures to keep them safe, from counseling to support their mental health, to programming to prevent stigma and discrimination, said UNICEF in a press release.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has upended children’s lives in unprecedented ways,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Hundreds of millions of children will have to spend weeks and months away from their classrooms.”

The longer vulnerable children stay away from school, the less likely they are to return. It is critical to give them alternative ways to learn and rebuild a routine, she said.

Governments in 87 eligible countries will start receiving education funds from March 30. UNICEF will also provide 4 million dollars of resources to reach an additional 58 countries, said UNICEF.

“There is an urgent need to invest now in education systems to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children in developing countries. These funds are an initial step to kick-start governments’ efforts to keep students safe and ensure they can keep learning, including by supporting teachers and schools,” said GPE chief executive officer Alice Albright. Enditem



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