The Italian government funds the rehabilitation of five other public schools in Lebanon

UNICEF released the following statement on Wednesday:

The Italian Embassy in Beirut, through the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, today announced a funding commitment of €2 million to support the school rehabilitation program of the UNICEF to create a more conducive learning environment for students and teachers in Lebanon.

Since 2015, with funding from Italy, UNICEF has carried out major rehabilitation work in 38 public schools across the country, benefiting more than 22,000 students who now attend classes in improved facilities and safer. 7 additional schools are currently being rehabilitated with support from Italy.

In his address, the Head of Primary Education Department at MEHE, Mr. George Daoud, representing the Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr. Abbas Halabi, expressed his appreciation for all the efforts made by the government Italian and UNICEF; saying “that the efforts indicate the overall concern of donors, in supporting Lebanon by empowering Lebanese schools, while achieving qualitative development and ensuring a comfortable and safe educational environment for students”.

Concluding, by calling on all donors “to continue their support, especially in these difficult times that Lebanon is going through, especially the private and public education sector”.

The new financial contribution will allow UNICEF to improve hygiene, health and safety standards in five other schools that have not yet been supported by the programme. Rehabilitation work will transform these schools into more friendly spaces for children with disabilities, including installing ramps through the facilities and making bathrooms more accessible.

The Italian Ambassador, Nicoletta Bombardiere, said: “The Italian Development Cooperation Agency is focusing its efforts in the education sector on the rehabilitation of public schools, in order to guarantee a safe and positive environment in which children can receive a quality education and develop the human qualities that will form the basis of tomorrow’s society. Our vision places people at the center of Italian aid policy”.

“Schools rehabilitated with improved building and safety standards have a very positive effect on the teaching and learning environment for children,” said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon. “The disruption to education over the past three years has resulted in severe learning loss. Ensuring that children stay in school is a priority for UNICEF and the rehabilitated facilities will not only improve health and student safety, but will also contribute to the general well-being of students in their new classrooms.

Rehabilitation work includes installing and repairing classroom doors and platforms, tiling schoolyards, painting school buildings and classrooms, installing new glass windows and exterior plastering of facades, as well as maintenance of electrical systems.

Each school will also be assessed to receive, where possible, an energy saving system including photovoltaic cells and solar panels complementing the public infrastructure in Lebanon. The measures will make it possible to sustainably reduce the cost of electricity and contribute to the supply of electricity to schools throughout the school year.

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