‘Vital children get back to school’, says Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell
THE UK is to help over 200,000 Pakistani children return to education by repairing schools in flood ravaged areas.
Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell confirmed the move saying 1,500 schools damaged by the recent floods will undergo repair.
A further 200 temporary facilities will also be erected for children whose schools have been destroyed across Sindh and the Punjab.
The UK will pledge £10 million to educational projects by Save the Children, Plan International, and Hands
The devastating floods in Pakistan have affected 20 million people, and nearly two million homes; 10,000 schools; hundreds of bridges, roads, electricity pylons; and more than two million hectares of crops have been destroyed or damaged, as well as one million farm animals and six million poultry lost.
With winter bringing near freezing temperatures at night, Mr Mitchell also pledged money for shelters for 25,000 people, basic health care for more than half a million people over the next six months; and support to help around one million people in rural areas to earn a living by providing jobs, skills training, and farming tools, seeds, animals so families can restart farming.
He said: “It is nearly five months since the devastating floods first hit Pakistan. The situation in the south is still critical with millions still without adequate shelter, while people in areas where water has receded have returned to what’s left of their homes to try to start rebuilding their lives.
“That’s why I’ve announced help for 25,000 people to build more permanent homes, support for one million people to start earning a living again, and health care for half a million people to try to avoid a crisis like the one in Haiti.
“And with the school year well underway, it’s vital we get children back to school, which is why we’re helping to get some 200,000 girls and boys back in to education.”
An estimated five million school aged children are affected by the floods in Pakistan, with more than 10,000 schools damaged or destroyed. Hundreds more are still being used as temporary housing in the south of Pakistan.
With half the adult population illiterate, and only 57% children enrolled in primary school before the floods hit, getting as many children as possible back in to education is critical for Pakistan.
Brothers Faisal, 6, and Amir, 7, recently returned to their rehabilitated primary school in Doaba Hans village, Muzaffargarh, Sindh.
Their school was under water for more than a month during the flood, and has just been rehabilitated by Save the Children, who reinstalled electrics, toilets, safe drinking water, as well as repairing, cleaning, and repainting the building.
Faisal said: “Our school was closed for one and a half months. Water was above the window ledge. My brother and I rushed home to our mother and father, and we all had to move away to a safer area for two months, where we stayed with relatives and other people. Some of our friends went to stay in camps, and lived in tents. The school is better now than it was before.”