The Director General for Development Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Giorgio Marrapodi, and the Director of the UNESCO Office in Iraq, Paolo Fontani, signed an agreement today in Doha for the implementation of a joint cooperation project aimed at ensuring access to education for children in Iraq who currently cannot go to school. The agreement is part of a broader program also funded by the Education Above All Foundation of Qatar. Italy will support the project with one million euros. The aim is to help remove some of the obstacles that limit access to education in Iraq. The funds will be used by UNESCO to rehabilitate ten schools, conduct education campaigns, and enroll 17,000 boys and girls of the Governorships of Salah al-Din and Baghdad.
"In the Iraqi context - commented Director General Marrapodi - it is even more important than anywhere else to create synergies between the different sources of knowledge and experience: Iraq, Italy, Education Above All and UNESCO will each offer an important contribution to the activities of the project. We are confident that this project will be a starting point for a broader and more fruitful trilateral collaboration with Qatar, in Iraq and also in other contexts”.
At the signing ceremony of the agreement, Paolo Fontani, Director of the UNESCO Office in Iraq, said “UNESCO is particularly grateful to the Italian Government and to Educate A Child - the global programme of the Education Above All Foundation - for the support provided to the project. Improved access to education for excluded boys and girls is the best possible contribution to their future and to the future of Iraq."
Italy's Ambassador to Qatar, Pasquale Salzano, commented: "We are pleased that the signing of this agreement takes place in Doha within the framework of the WISE Summit, and that it focuses, in particular, on access to education for children in disadvantaged countries. Italy has always been one of the major contributors to UNESCO and the project agreement signed today in Doha strengthens our commitment to promote access to education, alongside Qatar and the Education Above All foundation which is engaged in Iraq in Africa and in the world, providing education to over 10 million children living in crisis areas ".