FIRST LADY APPRECIATES EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT FUNDING TO UGANDA
The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni has appreciated the funding that Uganda is going to receive from Education Cannot Wait (ECW) a new global platform focused on supporting education in emergency and protracted crises affected countries.
Uganda was selected to receive US $ 3,350,000 to be spent in 12 months through the first response window of Education Cannot Wait to support the education response for especially the South Sudanese refugees and the affected host communities.
The First Lady met a team of officials from Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) and Save the Children on Wednesday at State House Nakasero. The team which is on mission in Uganda was led by the Education Cannot Wait Director Yasmine Sherif and was accompanied to the meeting by officials from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) offices in Uganda.
Mrs. Janet Museveni thanked the world for recognizing that Uganda is facing a challenge of a large influx of refugees that overwhelms the existing infrastructure and services. “The challenge we have in Uganda is that we opened our doors to our neighbours seeking refuge who come and share whatever there is like the education and health facilities and services to mention but a few and the infrastructure has become too small for the people,” she said.
She pointed out that Uganda is host to not only South Sudanese refugees but also those from Burundi, the Somali people and those from the Congo and she observed the need to expand the schools’ infrastructure to enable both the host communities’ and refugee children access inclusive and quality education.
She expressed gratitude for the Education Cannot Wait support and said Government in collaboration with its partners will explore how best to utilize the fund to ensure that the refugee children and youth in the country access quality education.
“There are many things that can wait but education of children cannot wait because they outgrow that period and may miss out on what would have made them more able people”, she emphasized.
Yasmine Sherif commended Uganda for its positive refugee response and said it deserves all the support.
She said the ECW fund was launched at the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016 and Uganda is one of the first countries to access the ECW fund in order to reduce the impact of refugee influx on education.
She explained that the US $ 3,350,000 allocated to Uganda under the First Response Window will fund project proposals that will support the education response for refugees, especially South Sudanese and affected host communities. “We want to see beyond the emergency response and also focus on development assistance to ensure national ownership and sustainability”.
She said the Ministry of Education and Sports in collaboration with UNHCR and UNICEF will coordinate this effort.
The meeting was also attended by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education and Sports Alex Kakooza, the Director of Education Standards Dr. Kedrace Turyagenda and the Commissioner Basic Education Dr. Daniel Nkaada.