UNESCO and Qatar join forces to provide quality education for Iraqi children

UNESCO Director-General today signed an 18-month agreement with Educate A Child, a new initiative from Qatar’s Sheikha Moza bint Nasser aimed at triggering progress towards the goal of quality primary education for all the world’s children.

The partnership will provide technical and institutional support to scale up the provision of quality education to vulnerable out-of-school children in Iraq. Over 18 months, the project will reach 30,000 out-of-school children in Iraq, half of whom are girls.


“Educate a Child” goes to where the needs are greatest and operates in a spirit of partnership and national ownership,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, who signed the agreement in the margins of the World Innovation Summit for Education. “Together, working where educational deprivation runs high, where conflict has torn the social fabric, we will build the capacity of authorities and train teachers to set up and run accelerated learning programmes.”


UNESCO is one of several organizations to join the initiative, which will catalyse innovative learning solutions for the world’s hardest-to-reach children - those affected by extreme poverty, conflict, natural disaster and prejudice.


 “Our partners have broad global reach and deep local roots," said Marcio Barbosa of Educate A Child.  "We are delighted to be partnering with UNESCO which brings a wealth of experience to the area of ensuring quality education for vulnerable out of school boys and girls in Iraq and across the world. Exclusion, poor infrastructure, remote locations and the consequences of conflict are serious barriers to children accessing the quality learning they deserve; together we can make a real difference to the lives of children in Iraq.”


Educate a Child was launched during the World Innovation Summit for Education that gathers over 10,000 participants from 100 countries. It aims to significantly reduce the number of children worldwide missing out on their fundamental right to education. The Initiative  is an extension of Sheikha Moza’s mandate as UNESCO Special Envoy on Basic and Higher Education, as a United Nations Millennium Development Goal Advocate, and Steering Committee member of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Education First Initiative.