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MIDDLE EAST: Violence hits education

NAIROBI, 10 March 2011 (IRIN) - Several Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq and Yemen are unlikely to achieve the education-for-all Millennium Development Goals by 2015 because of insecurity and conflict, according to a new report by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).The education-for-all goals were endorsed by more than 160 countries in 2000. But according to Kevin Watkins, director of UNESCO’s 2011 Global Monitoring Report, children and education are not just getting caught in the cross-fire, they are increasingly the targets of violent conflict."The failure of governments to protect human rights is causing children deep harm - and taking away their only...

School Feeding Is A Safety Net In Times Of Crisis

9 March 2011 - During times of vulnerability, keeping kids in school is an important part of society's response, says Donald Bundy from the Human Development Network of the World Bank. Bundy, who spoke to WFP while attending a seminar in Rome earlier this month, said the financial and food price crisis of 2008 highlighted the value of school meals programmes. Support for School Feeding has grown significantly at the World Bank in recent years. What was the background to that shift? That change came about when we saw the financial crisis first arising, when food spikes first appeared. The World Bank put in place a $2.4 billion programme designed to provide the poorest countries with ...

UNICEF’s Voices of Youth website launched alongside with 2011 State of the World’s Children Report

28 February 2011 - UNICEF-led platform for child participation – Voices of Youth (VOY) - has been recently revamped and re-launched, coinciding with the launch of the 2011 State of the World’s Children Report: ‘Adolescence: the Age of Opportunity’. The new website links children and adolescents in different countries to explore, speak out and take actions on the issues that affect them. It is organized thematically and offers various ways of getting involved. Individuals can check out the topics of their interest. They can share their opinions and contribute to discussions. They can also link their VOY profile with other social networks such as Twitter or Facebook. The website under...

UN celebrates birth of powerful new agency for women and girls

New York, 24 February 2011- Luminaries from the worlds of politics, entertainment, business, the media, music and film are joining the United Nations today as it celebrates the birth of a powerful new agency giving voice to women and girls worldwide. UN Women – formally known as the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women – was established in July 2010 by the General Assembly, merging four previous UN bodies dealing with women’s issues. “With the birth of UN Women, we welcome a powerful new agent for progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment,” says Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “The challenges are great, but I believe that with the new energy, the ...

Timor-Leste carries out UN-backed national birth registration campaign

New York, 23 February 2011 - Timor-Leste is carrying out a United Nations-backed campaign this week targeting over 200,000 children under the age of five who have not been registered at birth – an important step to ensuring that a child has proof of identity and can enrol in school at the right age.In 2003, only 2 out of 10 children were registered at birth in the country, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Currently, half of all Timorese children under the age of five are still not being registered, which means that there is no permanent and official record of their existence. “I am confident, that with all of us working together, we will achieve our target of registering a...

How the crisis is affecting next generations

16 February 2011 - For more than two years now the crisis is having a heavy impact on the daily lives of millions of families, children and young people. Evidence suggests that the economic downturn affect disproportionally children and families. Consequences are multiple and of different nature: Absolute poverty levels are on the rise Unemployment hits marginalised groups hardest Salary cuts increase in-work poverty levels Young people lack job prospects Growing Numbers of children at risk or in the public care system Children’s mental health is suffering Squeezed family budgets affect children’s diet and health Family tensions and discrimination is increasing And the rec...
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