Millions of Iraqi children benefiting from UNbacked school supplies programme

The drive, organized by the Iraqi Education Ministry and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with support from the European Commission, aims to reach all Iraqi primary schools, bringing basic learning tools to millions of children aged 6 to 11. “Iraq’s parents and teachers have shown unshaken determination to educate their children through years of deprivation, but the current terrible insecurity is testing many to the limit,” UNICEF Representative for Iraq Roger Wright said, calling on the international community to provide more support to protect the war-torn country’s education system during the current emergency. “Iraq’s education system needs a great deal more investment and attention to survive this time of crisis.” The system is now dangerously vulnerable, with many schools not operating normally. Violence is compounding the corrosive effects of years of under-investment throughout the 1990s, depleting teaching staff and eroding school infrastructure. The current insecurity is making the choice for families to send their children to school a life-threatening one in some areas. Over 800,000 children may now be out of school according to a recent estimate by Save the Children UK, up from 600,000 in 2004. These children are likely to miss out on their right to education altogether unless they receive urgent support and protection. Mr. Wright acknowledged the great commitment by the Government to prioritize education even under the most difficult circumstances. In the last two years alone more than 159 damaged school buildings and 800 school water and sanitation facilities have been restored, 30,000 teachers retrained and basic school materials delivered directly to Iraq’s children with the support of UNICEF and partners including the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the European Commission. “Schools are a symbol of hope to Iraq’s families,” Mr. Wright said. “We must do everything in our power to keep Iraq’s classroom doors open, welcoming and safe for children.” Materials will be distributed both centrally from Baghdad and directly to local governorates, reaching even the most remote schools. Supplies will arrive in classrooms in advance of the second half of the school year. 15 February 2007Millions of school bags, books, pencils and other essential learning materials are now being delivered to Iraq’s primary schoolchildren thanks to a United Nations-backed national school supply drive. read more

Brexit 42 million migrants still wait to learn their fate

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedIt’s over: Britain files for divorce from the European UnionMarch 29, 2017In “latest news”UK Govt says freedom of movement ‘will end’ after BrexitAugust 19, 2019In “latest news”EU citizens ‘denied residency documents’February 18, 2017In “World” It’s one of the core tenets of the European Union: Citizens should be able to move freely between countries — no questions asked.But what happens when a member state leaves the bloc?Nearly eight months have passed since Britain voted to leave the EU, but it’s still not clear whether millions of EU migrants living in the U.K. will be permitted to stay. British expats living in Europe also remain in limbo.Calls are now mounting for Prime Minister Theresa May to deliver answers.In the House of Lords — the unelected upper house of parliament — lawmakers are trying to attach an amendment to Brexit legislation that would require the government to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the country.Meanwhile, thousands of people on Monday took part in a campaign called “One Day Without Us,” which is aimed at highlighting the contribution migrants make to the U.K. Supporters posted images on social media, staged streets protests and donned pins to show their support.“When I was six, a migrant doctor performed an operation that saved my legs,” said a Twitter user named Leyla Williams. “A migrant physiotherapist taught me to walk again.”The poet Ian Duhig also issued a tribute: “The teacher who got me interested in English poetry wasn’t English, was a migrant. I’ll raise a glass today to Elio Cruz.”The numbers involved are huge: The House of Commons estimates that 3 million people from other EU states live in the U.K. Some work on farms and as construction workers, while others are employed as university researchers, doctors and nurses.Some businesses that depend on EU migrants warn that the labor pool is already drying up due to the uncertain future. Farmers and food suppliers are among the most affected, so far.Meanwhile, an estimated 1.2 million British citizens live as expats in the EU. Some are retirees who have sought out the warmer weather and cheaper cost of living in countries including Spain and Portugal.May has made it clear that reducing net immigration to Britain is one of her top priorities. But she has also expressed a willingness to make a deal with Europe on migrants who are already in the country. That’s unlikely to happen before formal Brexit talks between the U.K. and EU begin. (BBC) read more