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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

Director-General appeals for rapid financing of UNESCO projects included in the UN Flash Appeal for Gaza

Director-General appeals for rapid financing of UNESCO projects included in the UN Flash Appeal for Gaza
  • © UNESCO/M. Ravassard

On 2 February 2009, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes formally launched in Geneva the UN Flash Appeal for Gaza.

This US$ 613 million appeal will cover requirements of the UN and humanitarian organizations for the next six to nine months. It focuses on restoring basic services, including educational services.

“The five UNESCO education projects in the Gaza Flash Appeal address urgent needs for the reactivation of quality educational services throughout the educational system in Gaza, including secondary and higher education. The Flash Appeal also comprises a UNESCO project on the safety and protection of journalists. For a total value of approximately US$ 3 million, these projects focus on needs and gaps as identified by the humanitarian cluster system, and build on UNESCO’s mandate and technical expertise in crisis response”, declared the Director-General of UNESCO after the announcement.

“I am hopeful the donor community and UNESCO Member States will respond positively to these urgent demands”, emphasized Mr Matsuura. “Immediate assistance is needed to restore educational services and support the education system as a whole, as well as to provide teaching and learning resources to classrooms and universities. Efforts are also needed to begin addressing the immense psycho-social impact this recent conflict has had on the children and young people, as well as on educators. There is clearly an opportunity, indeed an imperative, to invest in this humanitarian process with renewed energy and purpose”, emphasized Mr Matsuura.

“We must also ensure that the humanitarian response lays the foundations for recovery and long-term development. UNESCO, through its Office for the Palestinian Territories, will play a critical role in addressing the early recovery needs in Gaza. Those needs and priorities concern in particular the broader recovery of educational institutions, including affected universities, the protection and preservation of damaged cultural heritage sites, and the promotion of free and independent media. We are confident they will be given due consideration by the Palestinian Authority in the Palestinian Early Recovery and Reconstruction Plan for Gaza that will be launched at a donor Conference in Cairo on 2 march 2009”, concluded the Director-General.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokesperson
  • Source:Flash Info N° 014-2009
  • 02-02-2009
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