Already 2.8 million children are deprived of education, and low enrollment rates, particularly for girls, exacerbate the problem; heightening their emotional strain and susceptibility to violence, mistreatment, and exploitation.
The partnership aims to ensure an increased number of children, particularly girls and those most vulnerable, can access equitable, inclusive, and quality education, even in emergency situations, with the goal of enhanced learning outcomes. Moreover, the partnership has set a robust goal of ensuring that more children, adolescents and women in South Sudan, remain safeguarded against violence, exploitation, abuse, neglect, and other harmful practices.
The Norwegian Ambassador, H.E. Linken Nymann Berryman, stated, "As a development partner we remain committed to supporting education, but the Government of South Sudan has the primary responsibility to provide adequate funding for education and secure the future of South Sudanese children.”
“We urge the government to both increase its education sector budget allocations – and importantly to ensure that allocated funds are actually released to pay teachers, provide schools with operating funds and buy essential teaching and learning materials,” Ambassador. Linken added.
Ms. Hamida Lasseko, the UNICEF South Sudan representative, expressed, "This significant contribution from Norway underscores our united vision and dedication to empower South Sudan's future generations through an inclusive and gender-responsive quality education and protection services. Prioritizing girls' education and child protection is our commitment to every South Sudanese child."
This contribution from Norway, amounting to NOK 30 million (approx. over U.S. $2.8 million), will provide thematic support to Girls’ Education, encompassing Child Protection in South Sudan until December 2024.
Previous support totaling over NOK 261 million from the period 2017 to date, including (the Abyei Area) has supported various interventions, including skills development, demobilization of children out of conflict, strengthening of Parent Teacher Associations, teacher retraining, and improving WASH facilities for learners.
Norway and UNICEF share a strong commitment to the children of South Sudan. During the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, Norway has been a leading partner in ensuring continuity of learning during school closures and getting learning back on track for children in South Sudan, especially the most marginalized. Among key results in 2021, over 556,000 children and adolescents aged 3-18 were enabled to access education services. More than 119,000 children and adolescents in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) sites and camps were also supported to access education.
Norway has invested heavily in the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and Education Cannot Wait (ECW) programmes through UNICEF and other partners which are providing much-needed education for children across the world including in conflict situations in South Sudan.