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Cameroon beats Nigeria to $7.8m GPE Education Fund

Cameroon will receive US$7.8 million in emergency funding to support the education of 36,500 children displaced by conflict and violence in neighboring countries.

The new funding will help the Government of Cameroon to provide schooling for children fleeing conflict in Central African Republic, Chad and Nigeria.

More than half of the 3.3 million people who have sought refuge in Cameroon are school-age children with urgent education needs.

“We congratulate the Government of Cameroon for supporting education programs for refugee children and are pleased to be able to respond quickly to their request for help” said Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnership for Education. “GPE is determined to ensure that no child misses the opportunity to unlock his or her full potential.  We are pleased to provide urgent support for children whose lives have been torn apart by crisis while ensuring a long-term development perspective.”

The funding follows a request from Cameroon in March to fast track a part of their GPE funding allocation to support the government’s humanitarian response plan. GPE’s accelerated funding process enables countries to access up to 20% of their grant funds for which they are eligible to respond to emergencies. To ensure a clear bridge between the humanitarian response needs and long-term development, the accelerated funding must be agreed between both the local education group and the humanitarian education cluster.

Responding to urgent education needs of refugee and displaced children as well as children of host communities Far-North, East and Adamawa regions of Cameroon, the grant will help local schools to prepare accelerated learning programs for 1,000 children currently not in school, build 300 primary classrooms and 32 latrine blocks and help promote good health and better hygienic practices at school, including by providing 2,000 hygienic kits to girls in the upper grades. UNICEF, as GPE grant agent, will implement the program in partnership with the government and other partners.

The funding will also support a more inclusive and protective learning environment by training teachers on peace education and social cohesion, psychological support for traumatized children and distributing 36,000 education kits, school supplies and textbooks on maths and reading. Part of the funding will also be used to asses the needs of students in the western areas of Cameroon, which have been affected by unrest since the end of 2016.

The grant builds on progress from an ongoing GPE grant of US$53.3 million which supports the recruitment of qualified teachers and their deployment to areas most in need, the dissemination of textbooks to improve children’s learning and the establishment of a learning outcomes unit in the education ministry to improve the availability and analysis of education data.

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