About the EU Children of Peace initiative
The objective of EU Children of Peace is to provide vulnerable children in emergencies with access to a safe learning environment and restore their hope for a better life.
The initiative funds educational projects for children around the world and was inspired by the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the European Union on 12 October 2012. The European Union chose to allocate the prize money - € 930 000 - to support education projects for children affected by conflict and crisis situations, via the EU Children of Peace initiative. This figure was supplemented by € 2 million from the European Union's humanitarian aid budget; and, since then, the European Union has been increasing the initiative's funding every year.
Children in emergencies
Children are particularly vulnerable during and in the immediate aftermath of crises.
Conflicts and natural disasters affect children in many different ways. Apart from their lives being at risk, children may be forcibly displaced, separated from their families, recruited by armed groups or criminal gangs, sexually exploited, trafficked or used as forced labour. Children also make up a large proportion of landmine victims. Out of a total of 59 million children living in conflict affected countries and areas affected by natural disasters, 34 million cannot go to school as a result.
Thanks to the EU Children of Peace initiative, children learn and play in safe schools, receive education on life skills, as well as psychosocial support. They can participate in supervised recreational activities and receive school materials and uniforms. Teachers are supported, both financially as well as from the provision of training. Parents and community leaders can also benefit from the projects which include the renovation of schools and the setting up of new education facilities.
In its first year, the EU Children of Peace initiative reached 28 000 children in Colombia, Ecuador, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq and Pakistan. In its second year, the scope was widened to include more than 80 000 children, with projects in additional countries including Afghanistan, Myanmar, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Ecuador, Somalia and South Sudan. In 2014, funding was allocated to projects benefitting 155 000 children in even more countries including Cameroon, Mexico, Guatemala, Niger, Sudan, Tanzania and Turkey. Now in its fourth year, the additional projects for 2015 mean that the EU Children of Peace initiative will be able to help more than 1 500 000 boys and girls in 26 countries by the end of the year.
New EU Children of Peace projects
This year, the European Union has decided to broaden the scope of the initiative again with €1 million of the overall funding going towards ensuring that orphaned children and other children affected by Ebola will receive education and psychosocial support to overcome the trauma.
Two humanitarian organisations have been selected to implement educational projects in West Africa:
In addition, 16 other projects will be implemented in conflict-affected areas around the world. The selected projects and beneficiary countries are:
- The Norwegian Refugee Council: Afghanistan
- UNICEF: Cameroon
- The Norwegian Refugee Council: Colombia and Honduras
- UNHCR: Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela
- Danish Refugee Council: Democratic Republic of Congo
- DanChurchAid: Democratic Republic of Congo
- Triangle: Kurdistan Region of Iraq
- Save the Children: Iraq
- The International Rescue Committee: Nigeria
- Intersos: Somalia
- The Lutheran World Federation: South Sudan
- Save the Children: South Sudan and Ethiopia
- People in Need: Turkey
- Concern Worldwide: Turkey
- Plan International: Uganda
- UNICEF: Ukraine
Funding for educational projects
The European Commission is supporting educational projects worth around €11 million. These will be implemented by humanitarian organisations under the EU Children of Peace initiative.
The 18 selected projects will provide education to children affected by conflict or other emergency situations in 17 countries around the world.
From an initial €2 million allocated to educational projects in 2012, the EU doubled the funding for the Children of Peace initiative to €4 million in 2013. In 2014, the funding reached over €6.7 million, including the contributions of €500 000 from Luxembourg and €250 000 from Austria.
With the additional €11 million released this year, the total funding allocated under the EU Children of Peace initiativereaches €23 712 500 since the start of the initiative.
European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides announced this year that he aims to increase the funding for education in emergencies in the coming years to reach 4% of the overall humanitarian aid budget of the European Union.
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