UNICEF on Friday urged the international community to urgently scale up support for education for children in Beirut, following the explosions that destroyed a large number of schools in the city.
“UNICEF is working with its partners in areas affected by the explosions to support rehabilitation of damaged schools and replacement of furniture and equipment as well as promote school safety guidelines,” it said.
The agency listed other support to include training of teachers in psychosocial support, and coordination on the distribution of education supplies and early childhood development kits to teachers and caregivers.
It said that at least 163 public and private schools and 20 technical, vocational education and training schools were damaged by Beirut port’s explosions, impacting around 77,300 students and 7,600 teachers approximately.
UNICEF Lebanon Representative Yukie Mokuo said that education can provide a vital lifeline to children whose lives have been turned upside down by such a disaster, providing a safe space at school and a sense of normalcy amidst the chaos.
The blast in the port of the Lebanese capital that took place on Aug. 4, left at least 190 people dead and 6,500 others injured.
The explosion, which prompted the country’s government to resign, has been blamed on improper storage of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate by the port authorities.