The Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), conceived and promoted by the Islamic Development Bank Group attended a high-level event hosted by the Education above all Foundation (EAA) and United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) at the New York Public Library in New York City on 27th April with an aim to focus on the pressing issue of out-of-school children (OOSC) and to support in accomplishing the objective of EAA in reaching out 10 million vulnerable and marginalized children around the world to return back to school.
The event was organized to celebrate the milestone achieved by EAA, through its “Educate A Child” program and UNICEF in securing the commitments needed to enroll 10 million children to school.
Fahad Al-Sulaiti, CEO of EAA, appealed the leaders and the global community that education is key to achieving prosperous and peaceful world and added, “ISFD with its participation in this event not only marked this achievement, but also inspired us to continue working towards the accomplishment of the entire SDG agenda by 2030.”
Besides, the ISFD Board of Directors to tackle the problem of low literacy rates during its Annual Meeting in Tunisia approved to support education initiatives through a program to re-enroll 2.4 million children in schools in countries like Mali, Pakistan, Nigeria and other selected member countries. This program is implemented in cooperation with the Qatari Foundation, Education Above All (EAA), the governments of beneficiary countries, international donors, international institutions and civil society organizations. The total cost of the program is US$375 million, of which the ISFD will contribute US$100 million.
This program aims at deploying accelerated alternative learning modules to reach out, enroll and retain out-of-school children based on their diverse backgrounds and those living in conflict situations, and children with mild special needs or disabilities. The program is anchored on three principles namely leveraging innovative joint financing that avails additional concessional resources to Member Countries, broadening the participation of non-state actors in educational service delivery based on proven expertise and willingness to share knowledge to build national capacity and lastly on focusing inclusive and quality education outcomes with targeted intervention on out-of-school children in conflict and deprived hard-to-reach communities.
The program is aligned with the IsDB 10 Year Strategy and the IsDB President 5-Year Program orientation towards a Developer-focused programming and implementation mechanism that harnesses local capacities.
Dr. Waleed Al- Wohaib, Director General of ISFD said, “Investing in education is crucial and essential to addressing extreme poverty and building safe and sustainable societies. It is vital that children living in areas that are armed conflict and insecure need to be protected, and also that they shouldn’t lose the opportunity to go to school and dream of a better future. This program initiated through the partnership will help the marginalized children to restore a sense of normalcy to their lives and give them hope for a better future.”
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