07/03/2009 11:26 PM | WAM
Abu Dhabi: The Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation (KBZF) has signed an agreement with the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) to support children in Afghanistan through a number of humanitarian and development initiatives.
Mohammad Haji Al Khoori, KBZF Executive Director, and Dr Ayman Abu Laban, Unicef Representative in the Gulf Area, signed the agreement.
"The agreement between the KBZF and Unicef is one of the many partnerships that the KBZF seeks to build with governmental and private institutions. The aim of these partnerships is to help fulfill the dreams and hopes of underprivileged communities and especially children who suffer from severe neglect due to conflicts and unstable economic situations," said Al Khoori.
Through this agreement, both parties will work together to support educational programmes in Afghanistan. Statistics show that more than two million Afghan children do not attend primary school and literacy levels are declining.
Afghanistan is in urgent need of 100,000 qualified primary school teachers, particularly females who represent only 28 per cent of the teachers.
Schools are usually in very poor condition and the ratio of students to teachers is very high.
"We commend the humanitarian efforts by the UAE and especially the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nah-yan Foundation to stop the distress of people and communities who suffer from wars and natural disasters. Thanks to the foundation's generous donation, Unicef will be able to provide the much needed support to promote education for all children in Afghanistan," said Dr Abu Laban.
This support from KBZF will be utilised for the procurement and distribution of teaching and learning materials to more than 2.6 million students and more than 114,000 primary teachers, and will help contribute to increasing primary school enrollment for girls by 20 per cent in the next five years.
Besides helping to increase educational access to children, the provision of teaching and learning materials will help ensure regular school attendance and improve teaching-learning practice.
"We are certain that through this agreement we will help lessen the suffering of children in Afghanistan knowing that a significant number of children do not go to school," Al Khoori said.
This is the second agreement after that with Oxfam to provide relief to Afghanistan and which is in line with the foundation's objective to build partnerships with international institutions and organisations to empower poor communities.