(formerly IRIN News) Journalism from the heart of crises

Over half the country’s children without education

Over 50 percent of Sierra Leone’s children are without education and the United Nations Children’s Fund has difficulty raising enough money to reverse such trends, the agency’s representative in Freetown told IRIN today (Friday).

The official, Anthony Bloomberg, first made the assessment at the launch of a UNICEF State of the World’s Children Report on Tuesday in Freetown, the capital. At the launch he said in parts of the country seven out of every 10 children were out of school, the country’s Information Ministry reported.

Bloomburg told IRIN that UNICEF was providing supplies to schools in secure areas of the country, strengthening supervision of education, providing vehicles and supporting non-formal education. UNICEF has made an emergency appeal for US $2.0 million for 1999 to support basic education at the primary level and the non-formal sector. The appeal is also due to cover the agency’s youth and adolescent initiative. This consists of consulting people to learn of their priorities and projects so these could be considered in policy formulation.

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