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Dubai Cares launches new Iraqi Kurdistan program
(21 March 2017)
Two new schools in Iraqi Kurdistan will provide quality education for at least 1,365 vulnerable children in the crisis-hit region

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 21 March 2017: Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, announced today at the 14th edition of the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid & Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD 2017), the launch of a AED 3.8 million (USD 1,026,375) program in partnership with UNICEF aimed at easing the pressure on the fractured education system in Iraqi Kurdistan. The program, titled ‘Access to Quality Education for Internally Displaced, Refugee, Host-Communities, and Other Vulnerable Children’, is in line with Dubai Cares’ Education in Emergencies strategy, designed to provide children affected by conflict and natural disasters with access to safe and predictable learning opportunities that teach them both the academic and social-emotional skills they need to learn and thrive.
Within the framework of this program, two 13-classrooms schools will be constructed in the governorates of Erbil and Sulaymaniyah. They will incorporate gender-segregated latrine facilities and water supply systems. The schools are expected to help alleviate the pressure currently placed upon the region’s severely fractured education system. Upon the completion of the schools, at least 1,365 internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees, and other vulnerable children will have access to a conducive learning environment in which to acquire a good quality basic education. 39 teachers and 3 head teachers will also benefit from having a safe and secure workplace.
Speaking about the organization’s first program in Iraqi Kurdistan, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares said: “The theme of DIHAD this year is ‘The Impact of Crises and Disasters on Children’ which makes this event an ideal place for us to showcase our innovative education in emergencies programs that are ensuring that children aren’t missing out on an education they so desperately need, as well as launch our latest program in Iraqi Kurdistan. This new program is in partnership with UNICEF and in support of the growing number of children who have had their education interrupted by the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Through this program, Dubai Cares is extending a helping hand by ensuring access to safe and quality education and providing children with a sense of normalcy, stability, and hope for the future.”
Dubai Cares’ participation in DIHAD includes an innovative stand that highlights the importance of providing education to children affected by emergencies. Visitors to the stand can view a 360-degree virtual reality film created in a Syrian refugee camp’s school, following a young student’s journey as her mother narrates the story of the family’s quest for education. The stand also features an interactive multimedia touchscreen map, providing information on Dubai Cares’ operations in 45 developing countries, particularly those affected by emergencies and crises, in addition to a quiz that illustrates the impossible decisions those caught in conflict, disasters and poverty face. 
Rana Awad, Marketing Manager at Dubai Cares said: “Through our stand in DIHAD, Dubai Cares aims to go beyond virtual reality. We want to deliver an immersive and impactful storytelling on refugee children. We also want to engage and inspire visitors to support us in our mission to increase children’s access to quality education and break the cycle of poverty.”
Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares will be chairing a special panel session on Education in Emergencies on the 3rd day of DIHAD (Thursday March 23, 2017) between 11:15am and 12:45pm. Participants in the panel include Manuel Fontaine, Director of the Office of Emergency Programmes at UNICEF, Justin Van Fleet, UN Special Envoy’s Office Education Commission and Dean Brooks, Director, Inter-Agency, Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE).

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