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Italy and UNICEF promote hand hygiene in Tunisia as part of initiative to support school systems

The Italian ambassador in Tunis, Lorenzo Fanara, representatives from UNICEF, and the Tunisian Minister for Education, Hatem Ben Salem, celebrated 'Global Handwashing Day' at an event together with school children in the country. The initiative is part of a broader program launched in October 2016 to support the school system in partnership with UNICEF and financed with €2.36 million (US$2.6 million).

Handwashing is a hygienic practice that can prevent the transmission of diseases, but it is not yet widespread in the daily life of Tunisian children, and many schools in rural areas still lack access to drinking water and sanitation.

Press release – Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (in Italian)  

Italy Education Global health

USAID to fund private and religious schools under new education party

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green has stated that the agency is planning to expand its funding to the private sector and religious groups for purposes of implementing the new US education policy in the developing world. This approach recognizes the “important role of non-state actors, including faith-based organizations and the private sector, in providing educational opportunities” to children affected combat, natural, and other disasters. Green specifically referenced countries such as Bangladesh, Somalia, and Myanmar, where the government is not providing education to significant chunks of the child population.  

News article - The Washington Times

United States Education

Swedish government adopts new strategy for engagement with UNICEF

Sweden has adopted a new strategy that will guide its cooperation with UNICEF for the period 2018 to 2022, at the global level as well as at regional and national levels. The thematic areas that will be prioritized in Sweden's cooperation with UNICEF during the period will be:

  • The rights of the child and the rights perspective
  • Health equity 
  • Child protection
  • Education

Press release - Swedish government (in Swedish)  

Sweden Education Global health

JICA gives US$17 million to Lesotho to support education for disabled students

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed a US$17-million grant agreement with Lesotho for the rehabilitation of four secondary schools for disabled students. These improvements will support a more inclusive learning environment and strengthen social infrastructure in the country.

Press release - JICA 

Japan Education

Australian Opposition Leader announces priorities for overseas development

Bill Shorten, Australia's Opposition Leader, announced that the Labor Party would  increase Australia’s development funding to the Pacific if it forms government in the upcoming election. He would also create a government-backed infrastructure investment bank for the Pacific.

Other policies include appointing a minister for pacific affairs and international development and an ambassador for refugees and displaced people. Labor would also focus specifically on equities affecting women in the Pacific, including in the education sector.

Speech - The Lowy Institute

Australia Education

Japan provides mechanics and electronics equipment to a technical school in Lebanon

Japan, through its embassy in Lebanon, has provided laboratory equipment to a technical school in south Lebanon to strengthen the quality of education and the capabilities of the students. The equipment will be dedicated to training in mechanics and electronics, and was offered by Japan through a US$89,000 grant.  The grant is provided through Japan's Grant Assistance for Grass-roots Human Security Program (GGP).

Press release - Embassy of Japan in Lebanon

Japan Education

Japan establishes a project for expanding a school complex in DRC

The Japanese embassy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has provided a school complex with a US$91,000 grant in order to allow it to expand its compound, as well as furnish its classes with equipment for sewing, electrical training, and mechanics. 

Press release - Embassy of Japan in DRC (in French)

Japan Education

Japan pledges funding for training program for local government officials in Timor-Leste

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed an agreement with Timor-Leste, in which it pledged to provide up to ¥159 million (US$1.5 million) for the 'Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship.' 

The scholarship program, now running in 13 countries, supports young government officials who have passed a selection process to study in Japan, who would afterwards return home and put what they have learned into practice.

Press release - JICA

Japan Education

Norway prioritizes women’s rights and equality in 2019 development budget

The Norwegian government has proposed a US$119-million (NOK 1 billion) grant to women's rights and equal opportunities in its 2019 development assistance budget. The funds will be used for measures to improve women's and maternal health, through health care and other development policy efforts that strengthen women's rights. This includes core contribution to UN Women's Rights and Equity Organization (UN Women), UN Populations Fund (UNFPA), and various targeted gender equality measures. Equality and women's rights are goals in themselves, but the government states that succeeding in these areas is also important for other Sustainable Development Goals.

The core of Norway's work for gender equality is sexual and reproductive health and rights, including family planning, maternity health, and safe and legal abortions. 

Press release - Norwegian government (in Norwegian)

Norway to increase development spending by US$2.5 billion in 2019

In its 2019 development budget, Norway has proposed spending US$4.5 billion (NOK37.8 billion) on development assistance, corresponding to about 1% of Norway’s Gross National Income and NOK2.5 billion more than in 2018. To increase the effectiveness of Norway’s efforts, the government has chosen to concentrate on:

  • Education
  • Business development
  • Agriculture and renewable energy
  • Climate change, environment and oceans,
  • Humanitarian action.

Around US$2.7 billion (NOK23 billion; 60%) of the development budget will be allocated to these areas.

Press release - Norwegian government