NAIROBI, The European Union (EU) has has committed to providing 92.6 million Kenyan shillings (800,000 euros) for a humanitarian response programmes of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) to help refugee children in Kenya.

The funding will support humanitarian child protection and education services for children at the Kakuma and Dadaab Refugee Camps in northern Kenya where the children face many challenges, including insufficient basic services and overcrowding. In addition, the ongoing voluntary repatriation of refugees has resulted in emerging protection concerns that were previously low-risk, such as family separation and custody disputes.

Kenya is host to almost half a million refugees and more than 20,000 children are unaccompanied or separated from their families or caregivers after they fled conflict and drought in the Horn of Africa sub-region.

The Unicef Representative in Kenya, Werner Schultink, says the support will greatly enrich their work with the UN High Commissioner for efugees (UNHCR) and other partners in building much needed resilience and social well-being of every refugee child in the camps.

We are grateful to the EU for this generous funding which will help strengthen our education and child protection activities in Kakuma and Dadaab Refugee Camps.

Through the EU grant, Unicef plans to reach 25,000 children, half of whom are girls, with education and child protection interventions. A total of 6,500 children have been targeted to benefit from the Child Protection Case Management System, which will make use of an innovative digital Child Protection Information Management System developed with previous EU support.

Furthermore, the EU humanitarian aid will enable at least 2,000 out-of-school children, who have recently arrived to enrol in primary and pre-school education. An additional 16,500 learners will also benefit from the provision of teaching and learning materials, documented to increase enrolment and attendance. In addition, 420 primary school teachers will receive training on basic teaching skills, with a focus on teaching in situations of crisis.

The European Union prioritises investing in the education of children in emergencies. We are therefore glad to partner with UNICEF to help these vulnerable children in Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps, to regain a sense or normality and to invest in their long term future, says the EU Commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, Christos Stylianides.

Unicef Kenya has been working with the UNHCR and other partners to address the protection, education, health, nutrition, water and sanitation needs of refugees in Kenya as part of the UNICEF and Government of Kenya 2014-2018 Country Programme.

With this support from the European Commission, Unicef will continue to strengthen all-inclusive education and child protection services that cater to the immediate needs of refugee children and their communities.