USAID-funded Emergency Education Programme reaches more than 600,000 children in South Sudan

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UNICEFSouthSudan/RyengMarina is following some of the lessons for the older learners.

 A total of 613,442 children, including 255,780 girls, accessed education and child protection services thanks to the Integrated Essential Emergency Education Services (IEEES) programme supported by USAID. UNICEF has implemented the programme since 2017.

The IEEES programme was implemented in 1,267 schools and 180day care centers in 60 counties across the ten states of South Sudan. Out of the 613,442 children reached, 115,898 boys and girls benefited directly from community-based psychosocial support activities.

UNICEF achieved the results in close collaboration with the Ministry of General Education and Instruction and through partnerships with 32 national and international non-government organisations which implemented education and child protection activities across the country.

USAID has supported UNICEF education in emergencies programmes in South Sudan since 2014 and invested a total of USD $120 million, including USD $60 million for the IEEES programme.

“After civil war erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, displacing hundreds of thousands of children, this project and a prior project we funded in 2014-18 helped keep more than 600,000 children learning in a safe environment so that we did not lose investment in South Sudan’s youngest generation during these challenging years”, said USAID Mission Director for South Sudan Haven Cruz-Hubbard.

Before COVID-19 and the closure of schools, 2.2 million children in South Sudan were out of school, because of poverty, cultural norms, people living in remote areas and following years of conflict and violence. UNICEF estimates that in South Sudan, 30 per cent of the schools are damaged, destroyed, occupied or closed as a result of conflicts.

“Bringing these children back to school must be a priority for all of us,” said Dr. Mohamed Ag Ayoya, UNICEF Representative in South Sudan. “All children have the right to education. It ensures their development, has a positive impact on their health and protects them against abuses and exploitation. Education is one of the smartest investments, contributing to a more peaceful and prosperous South Sudan.”

The COVID-19 outbreak and the closure of schools have further disrupted learning for 2 million South Sudanese children who were enrolled in primary and secondary schools. Faced by this additional challenge, USAID supported through the IEEES programme the radio distance learning initiative of the Ministry of General Education and Instruction.

Since April 2020, the Ministry and UNICEF have mobilized 1.5 million school children and out-of-school children through door-to-door, village town crier and other communication efforts to participate in radio lessons broadcast on South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation and Radio Miraya.

“We are grateful for the long-standing support of USAID to ensure access to education for the most vulnerable children in South Sudan,” stressed Dr. Ayoya. “We look forward to continued collaboration with USAID to improve access to quality education for all children in this country

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