Friday, September 22, 2006

UNESCO welcomes Japan's contribution to the rehabilitation of war victims in Burundi

On August 31st, 2006, the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, welcomed the donation by Japan of US$2.18 million for the "Inter Agency Programme on the Sustainable Rehabilitation of War Victims in Burundi," which will be channeled through the Trust Fund For Human Security and involve a number of United Nations agencies, including UNESCO.

The programme will focus on providing drinking water, primary health care, education to children, vocational and literacy training; improving food safety; supporting income generating activities; training trainers in peace education, and workshops on peace and reconciliation.

UNESCO already has a wide range of activities in Burundi where some 300,000 lives have been lost in over ten years of conflict. Fighting in the country has also led to the internal displacement of some 140,000 people and to the departure of some 300,000 Burundians who have become refugees.

UNESCO has two vocational education centres (UNEVOC) in Burundi: one provides secondary professional education, the second provides public works training. Furthermore, the UNESCO Chair in Education for Peace and Conflict Resolution at the National University of Burundi promotes research, training, information and education in peaceful conflict resolution.

Education is a priority for Burundi where only 33 percent of children complete a full course of primary education.

© UNESCO/Michel Ravassard

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