Statement from Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa
11 March 2019 – “UNICEF has started paying incentives aiming to reach over 136,000 teachers and school-based staff in Yemen who have not received a salary in over two years, helping to keep children in school and learning.
“Teachers and school-based staff are required to go through a verification process as a pre-condition for payment. The first payment cycle has reached more than 97,000 of the intended teaching professionals.
“The situation of Yemen’s education sector is daunting. Out of 7 million school-aged children, over 2 million children are already out of school. School infrastructure is badly damaged and learning materials are in short supply. One in five schools in Yemen can no longer be used because they are damaged or being used in the fighting or to shelter displaced families.
“Without a regular salary and due to the conflict and the ongoing economic crisis, teachers have been unable to commute to their schools or had to look for other livelihood opportunities to sustain their families.
“The incentives from UNICEF offer eligible teachers and school-based staff a monthly payment equivalent to US$50 in local currency so that they can continue teaching and help prevent more children from dropping out of school. The scheme covers staff in over 10,300 schools and will benefit an estimated 3.7 million children.
“In times of conflict, being at school provides children with a sanctuary and a much-needed sense of normalcy. Education is essential to equip all children in Yemen with the skills they need to make a better future for themselves and to rebuild their country when peace returns. All children should have access to inclusive and quality education.”
Notes to editors:
For more information, please contact:
Alexandra Murdoch, 0207 375 6179, AlexandraM@unicef.org.uk
Unicef UK Media Team, 0207 375 6030, firstname.lastname@example.org
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