UNICEF to provide education supplies and technical support to Fiji

Children of Navere settlement in Bua, at Sunday school the weekend after Severe TC Yasa ravaged their community. Picture: JOSAIA RALAGO

UNICEF will provide education supplies and technical support to Fiji’s Ministry of Education as part of the Government’s effort to strengthen the country’s Tropical Cyclone Yasa response, and safe continuation of learning.

The ministry met officials from UNICEF yesterday and discussed the support required to ensure that disaster-affected children would still be able to resume studies in this new school year.

The supplies include temporary learning classrooms, school-in-a-boxes that consist of stationery, teacher and classroom materials, student backpacks, early childhood development and recreation kits, water, and sanitation and hygiene supplies.

UNICEF will support the Ministry with additional supplies and assistance as needed, according to a Government statement issued last night.

Those supplies will be used to ensure children are equipped with the resources they need to learn and grow, and training will also be provided to teachers on psychosocial support for children.

“We are grateful for the support provided by UNICEF. The opening of our schools in Tropical Cyclone Yasa affected areas is an important step in the recovery process as children rely on their daily routines for a sense of security,” Minister for Education Rosy Akbar said in the statement.

“Going back to school will help them overcome the emotional trauma and devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Yasa.

“We are working with UNICEF and other partners to ensure our schools are ready for Term one of 2021.”

UNICEF Pacific Deputy Representative Vathinee Jitjaturunt said: “We thank the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts for their leadership, and our partners including the Australian government and WFP for quickly delivering our education supplies from Brisbane to Fiji. We need to continue our collective work to provide children with the opportunity to be able to return to normalcy as soon as possible.”

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