The new program will support more than 150 thousand schoolchildren in Ukraine

Новая программа поддержит более 150 тысяч школьников в Украине

An eight-year-old girl stands in the ruins of her school in Ukraine. The new program will support more than 150 thousand schoolchildren in Ukraine Culture and Education

The Ukrainian government and the UN-backed global Education Cannot Wait (ECW) Foundation announced Tuesday an $18 million down payment to fund a new multi-year program that aims to support more than 150,000 children in the ten most affected Ukrainian regions. Total ECW investments in Ukraine currently amount to $24.5 million.

The new grant was presented during a briefing at the UN office in New York by the Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Oksen Lisovoy and the executive director of the Education Cannot Wait Foundation Yasmin Sherif.

Lisovoy and Sherif also called on donors to urgently mobilize an additional $17 million to fully fund the two-year program.

“Today Ukraine has the desire and resources not just to survive, but to develop. That is why spending on education is important to us as an investment in human capital, in the development of democracy, in a strong and stable state,” noted the country’s Minister of Education and Science Oksen Lisovoi.

According to him, the government’s efforts are now aimed at restoring access to education for every child. The minister expressed gratitude to the foundation and donors for not only helping Ukraine respond to the challenges of war, but also supporting the long-term development of the Ukrainian education system.

“The conflict has claimed thousands of lives and influenced the situation with the education of children and adolescents. By investing in the education of girls and boys who have lost so much, we are investing in their hope, their development and their future,” said Sheriff.

The latest data shows that at least 1.5 million children were forced to leave their homes and remain in Ukraine. Of these, 225 thousand are school-age children. Teachers suffered too: an estimated 43,000 teachers had to flee their homes as a result of the conflict.

Children living in areas most affected by the conflict live in fear and are often deprived of basic services, including access to a quality learning environment. Hundreds of educational institutions were damaged or destroyed during the conflict.

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The new funding is expected to directly support 41,000 girls and boys, and at least 150,000 children will indirectly benefit from the investment, especially due to the renovation of schools and educational facilities. The program’s goals include creating a safe and accessible learning environment, training teachers, expanding digital learning and alternative learning initiatives, and working towards gender equality and inclusion.

In particular, the Government of Ukraine, with the support of ECW, donors, UN agencies and other partners, is making efforts to expand online education and other learning opportunities. Roughly 80 percent of learning is conducted remotely, but many families, especially those displaced by conflict, lack access to necessary technology and communications.

In addition, to address the challenges faced by students during military conflict, special attention will be paid to their mental health and psychosocial support.


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