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UNICEF hails Japan's donation of over $10 million for education in Afghanistan

UNICEF hails Japan's donation of over $10 million for education in Afghanistan

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) today hailed the Japanese Government for donating $10.8 million to education programmes for displaced and refugee children returning to their homes in Afghanistan.

The agency, which said the funds were urgently needed to keep up with the large number of children going back to school, has already distributed learning materials for more than 2.3 million Afghan students, along with 6,000 tents for temporary classrooms and 10 million textbooks. Despite this effort, up to 4 million children are seeking to resume learning, many of them recently returned from neighbouring countries where their families had been refugees.

The donation will ensure that 1.25 million returnee children have access to primary and secondary schooling in Kandahar, Jalalabad, Mazar and neighbouring provinces in Afghanistan, according to UNICEF, which is working closely with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide services to returnee children and their families.

"The latest donation by Japan is another example of its formidable commitment to children," said UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy. "Education for all children is the foundation of a peaceful, stable society, and it's a crucial step in the rebuilding process."

Noting that "a tremendous amount of work" remains to be done, Ms. Bellamy voiced hope that donors would support UNICEF's our ongoing effort "to rebuild Afghanistan through its children."