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Finland grants $8.6m to improve Somali children’s educational opportunities

December 7, 2021 at 6:13 pm

A displaced Somali boy attend a class to learn alphabets and numbers in Mogadishu, Somalia, on June 25, 2018 [MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB/AFP via Getty Images]

Finland announced a €7.65 million grant ($8.63 million), Tuesday, to UNICEF to strengthen educational services for children in Somalia, Anadolu News Agency reports.

“Finland is extremely pleased to start this partnership with UNICEF for the benefit of Somali children,” said Finnish Ambassador to Somalia, Pirkka Tapiola.

Education, Culture, and Higher Education Minister, Abdullahi Abukar Haji, said the partnership would expand the availability of schools for children who were out of school.

The program sets ambitious targets to double primary school enrolment, improve the quality of education and strengthen the capacity of government partners to deliver a more equitable education for all children, according to a statement by the UNICEF office in Somalia.

“Providing every child with a chance to learn is the best investment any nation can make, and we are proud to be part of this effort in Somalia,” it said.

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Somali has made significant efforts in recent years to increase the proportion of children enrolled in quality school services and complete a full cycle of primary education, but a large number of children are out of school, particularly in rural areas.

More than 60 per cent of the population are semi-nomadic pastoralists, according to the World Bank.

More than three million children in Somalia are out of school, according to UNICEF.

In many areas, parents are not able to fund their children’s education as poverty, long distances to school and safety concerns make the situation worse.