UNHCR strengthens education in KP

Islamabad—The United Nations Refugee Agency and the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have enhanced school enrolment ratio in the province by creating space for additional 5,000 children and improving learning conditions for over 10,000 children already attending schools through the UN Refugee Affected and Hosting Area (RAHA) initiative.
Funded by the German Government through Germany’s Kreditanstalt fr Wiederaufbau Development Bank (KfW), UNHCR together with the Secretary of Ministry of States and Frontiers Regions (SAFRON); Muhammad Shehzad Arbab, Commissionerate for Afghan Refugee; Provincial Education Minister, Muhammad Atif Khan and the German Ambassador to Pakistan, Ina Lepel inaugurated a newly-constructed Government Primary School (GPS.3) in Hayatabad on Monday, said a press release here.
The GPS.3 School is one of the 31 primary public schools which UNHCR has rehabilitated through partner agencies in KPK province under RAHA education interventions.
In education sector through RAHA, a total of 12 projects worth PKR 277 million funded by the Federal Republic of Germany and the Government of United States, have so far been implemented and handed over to the provincial education department. All the schools that have been renovated and upgraded are located in the deprived areas where Afghan refugees living with the local population. Speaking on the occasion, Provincial Education Minister, Muhammad Atif Khan said that government is focusing on education and health sectors.
The Minister said: “The education sector has been revamped through budget allocation and we are getting closer to achieving our goal of improving literacy rates in KPK. We are grateful to the international community for supporting this important cause and fully acknowledge the fact that education is the right of every child regardless of race, religion or nationality.”
German Ambassador to Pakistan, Ina Lepel appreciated the efforts made by UNHCR and the government counterparts to realize this important project.
She underlined the need to support the communities which have been hosting Afghan refugees for so many years. The improvement of living conditions regarding education, health and community infrastructure was a key concern to German Development Cooperation.
Addressing on the occasion, the UNHCR Representative in Pakistan, Indrika Ratwatte reaffirmed UNHCR’s commitment to enhance capacity of the provincial government in education sector.
He appreciated the government’s efforts for allowing Afghan refugee children access to government (public) schools with Pakistani children. He emphasized that such an initiative was in line with government’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG4) which warrants inclusive and equitable education for all.—APP

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