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Luxembourg joins EU Children of Peace initiative

European Commission - IP/13/1275   19/12/2013

Other available languages: FR DE

European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 19 December 2013

Luxembourg joins EU Children of Peace initiative

Today, on the first anniversary of the creation of EU Children of Peace, Luxembourg is the first Member State to join the EU Children of Peace initiative, the lasting legacy of the Nobel Peace Prize, which was awarded to the EU in 2012. The initiative funds humanitarian projects helping children in conflict zones to gain access to education.

The EUR 500 000 contributed by Luxembourg, will be used to enlarge the EU's support to projects implemented under the umbrella of EU Children of Peace. By providing children with spaces where they can learn, play, grow and heal from the trauma of war, these projects protect them from conflicts and from being recruited as child soldiers.

"I warmly welcome the decision of Luxembourg to join this important initiative which reaches out to tens of thousands of the most vulnerable in any crisis and conflict – children", said Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, who is leading the initiative.

"By providing boys and girls with access to education even in the most difficult circumstances, we give them opportunities to develop their talents, fulfil their ambitions and acquire the tools they need to help building a conflict-free future. I invite all member states to follow the example of Luxembourg and to join us in our effort to prevent the conflicts of today from destroying the generation of tomorrow."

During the past year, more than 28 000 children from Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Columbia, Ecuador and Syrian refugee children in Iraq have received support through the EU Children of Peace initiative.

In 2014, nine of the European Commission's humanitarian partner organisations will participate in the second phase of the EU Children initiative and help more than 80 000 children affected by war. They will provide schools, child-friendly spaces, psychological support, school materials and uniforms to support girls and boys in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, the Central African Republic, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar, Colombia and Ecuador.

Background

On 10 December 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its six decades-long work in the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights. The European Commission formally accepted the prize money on behalf of the European Union, increased it to EUR 2 million and allocated it to children in the greatest need of post-conflict support. In 2013, it doubled the funds for the initiative to EUR 4 million.

Today, 90% of the victims of conflicts are civilians. Half of them are children. Seven million children are refugees and 12.4 million children are displaced within their own countries due to conflict.

One of the best ways to help and protect children when they suffer from violent conflicts is to restore to them the opportunity to learn and receive an education. Of the approximately 75 million children who are out of school worldwide, more than half live in conflict areas.

The EU's humanitarian work is addressing the specific needs of children affected by conflict. More than half of the Commission's humanitarian funding goes to conflict-affected areas and 12% of its humanitarian budget - much more than the global average - goes to child-focused relief organisations.

For more information

MEMO/13/876: The EU Children of Peace projects: how the European Union keeps bringing peace closer to those who need it the most.

Commission website on the EU's assistance for children in conflict:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/EU4children/index_en.htm

The European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection (ECHO):

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm

Commissioner Georgieva's website:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/georgieva/index_en.htm

Commissioner Georgieva’s twitter account:

https://twitter.com/KGeorgievaEU

Contacts :

Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)

David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)


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