- Published: 26.05.2023.
The Government of the Republic of Croatia and UNICEF are setting up prefabricated schools for children in earthquake-affected areas in Turkey
According to a report by the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of the Republic of Turkey, the devastating earthquake in February this year put 2.5 million children at risk, and almost 1,000 schools were destroyed or damaged and out of use. It is estimated that more than 2,000 children and 100 teachers were affected by the earthquake in the mentioned two provinces, and the three schools that will be established with a donation of the Government of the Republic of Croatia should provide the necessary capacities for students and teachers.
The planned area of each school is 2,400 square meters, including 12 classrooms, 2 office spaces for teaching staff, and sanitary facilities, including those specially adapted for children with disabilities. UNICEF will coordinate activities with the Ministry of National Education of the Republic of Turkey in order to ensure the necessary staff for all three schools and to organize the work of the schools in two shifts, in order to increase access to students, for example by holding preschool and elementary school classes in the morning hours and high school programs in the afternoon hours.
"The Republic of Croatia was among the first countries to send urgent aid to the Republic of Turkey, immediately after the devastating earthquake on February 6 of this year. On the same day, we sent a team of 41 members of the State Civil Protection Rescue Unit with dogs, material aid, and subsequently 40 house containers. The total aid of the Government of the Republic of Croatia for the Republic of Turkey is EUR 5 million. We are particularly pleased that, in cooperation with UNICEF as a long-standing partner of the Government of the Republic of Croatia in terms of development cooperation and humanitarian aid, we agreed on this valuable aid project for the Republic of Turkey, in the form of the construction of three prefabricated schools worth 1 million euros, which until permanent school structures have been built, will be attended by almost two thousand children. In our work in the field of development cooperation and humanitarian aid, we pay special attention to the most vulnerable groups of the population, notably children. I am, therefore, very happy that once again we have joined forces with UNICEF in this valuable project, which we will implement for the benefit of children and to support the education system of the Republic of Turkey", said Gordan Grlić Radman, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs on the signing the cooperation agreement.
"The Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Turkey have shown that they are true friends in times of hardship, showing solidarity in the wake of the disasters that struck both countries in recent years. I thank Croatia for the quick and strong solidarity with Turkey after the February 6 earthquake. The construction of these three prefabricated schools represents an additional and significant example of Croatian solidarity," said the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Croatia, Yavuz Selim Kiran.
Immediately after the devastating earthquake in Turkey, UNICEF started providing support and assistance to children and families in the affected areas. Along with urgent humanitarian aid and protection of children in crisis situations like this, it is necessary to ensure that the education of children and young people continue as quickly as possible, because school is extremely important for their recovery from trauma, continued development and return to childhood. This valuable donation is a direct response to the most urgent needs of children in Turkey, which will alleviate the negative impact of the earthquake on their lives. We have been successfully cooperating with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs on official development aid projects since 2018, and we are grateful that UNICEF is recognized as a partner that directs international humanitarian aid to important programs and activities for children and families around the world," said Regina M. Castillo , Head of the UNICEF Office for Croatia.
Providing support to Turkey is the seventh in a series of projects in which the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs successfully cooperates with UNICEF within the framework of official development and humanitarian assistance. Official Development Assistance (ODA) refers to activities and measures designed to promote sustainable development in less developed countries, and the activities are financed from the budget of the Republic of Croatia and used in accordance with the regulations of the OECD Development Assistance Committee on official development assistance.