Italy and Unesco signed an agreement on the sidelines of the World Innovation Summit for Education, which concluded in Doha on Thursday, according to a statement from the Italian embassy.
The Director General for Development Co-operation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Giorgio Marrapodi, and the Director of Unesco Iraq Office, Paolo Fontani, signed the agreement to implement a joint development project in Iraq, aimed at providing quality education to out-of-school children in Iraq.
The agreement is part of a wider programme also financed by Qatar’s Education Above All Foundation. Italy will fund the project with 1mn euros, aiming at tackling some of the obstacles to access to education in Iraq. Unesco will use the funds to rehabilitate 10 schools, conduct enrolment campaigns and provide school kits to approximately 17,000 boys and girls in the Iraqi governorates of Salah al-Din and Baghdad.
“In the Iraqi context – Marrapodi said – even more important than elsewhere becomes the possibility to pool together different knowledge and skills: Iraq, Italy, Education Above All, Unesco will all give a substantial contribution to the activities. We hope this project will be a kicking start for a fruitful trilateral co-operation with Qatar, to foster development in Iraq and elsewhere.”
On the occasion of the signing ceremony, Fontani commented “Unesco is very grateful to the Government of Italy and Educate A Child, a global programme of the Education Above All Foundation, for their support provided through this project. Improving access to education for out of school boys and girls is the best possible contribution to thefuture and to that of Iraq”.
The Italian ambassador to Qatar, Pasquale Salzano, stated, “We are glad that this agreement has been signed here in Doha on the occasion of the WISE Summit, specifically focused on the access to education for children in disadvantaged countries. Italy has always been one of the main donors of Unesco and the agreement on this new project strengthens our national commitment to ensure access to education, side by side with Qatar and Education Above All, which is involved in Iraq, Africa and all over the world to empower more than 10 million children living in crisis areas”.
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