Unicef and MoEYS discuss preparation to respond to natural disasters that affect the learning process

Unicef and MoEYS discuss preparation to respond to natural disasters that affect the learning process

Photo Tatoli/Francisco Sony

DILI, 30 january 2023 (TATOLI)- United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) discussed the validation plan on preparation for responding to the calamity situation, which impacts the education process.

Unicef Country Representative, Bilal Durrani said Unicef and its partners and MoEYS discussed on validation plan in preparation to respond to climate hazards, which are affected by the calamity situation in the future.

“We are discussing a validation plan for the further preparation to respond to climate hazard that might happen in the future due to climate change,’’ Unicef country representative, Bilal Durrani told journalists at Timor Plaza, this monday

He added that Unicef will provide technical assistance that focused on draft options for disaster risk management related to dealing with emergencies in the education sector in Timor-Leste.

This workshop today is provided us with an opportunity to critically look at the options available, and deep-dive into some discussions for taking concrete actions and options on ensuring the minimum impact from disasters on the education sector, and children’s learning.

Mr. Durrani recognized that the recent experience, which happen in last 2021 as significant of these recent times have been the cyclone and floods in 2021 and the covid-19 pandemic. Strong winds and rains have also damaged schools and disrupted learning to a lesser extent.

“ We have learned from their emergencies and our response actions, including the reduction of impact from natural disasters, the establishment of a system to reduce the impact on continued learning, from pilot DRM initiatives such as that supported by UNICEF in 4 municipalities with plan international,’’ He said.

Minister of MoEYS, Armindo Maia said Timor-Leste is fragile to natural disasters every year, therefore this discussion with the partners is most important to focus on preparation to respond to the natural disaster that affect the school learning process and damaged school infrastructure across the country.

“We faced a very crucial situation in 2021, as the impact of calamite situation caused cyclone and floods that caused huge damaged to school infrastructure, while in january 2023, we again had a strong wind which damaged over 20 school infrastructure,’’ He explained

Concerning this issue, Maia said it requires more well cooperation and coordination between the line minister of Education and development partner to provide support but also to avoid double support. 

Maia also added that the Ministry of Education recognized no budget in 2023, therefore it requires more support from partners.

According to Maia, Development partners have been supporting the Timor-Leste Ministry of Education to rehabilitate over 20 schools in municipalities including Viqueque, Ainaro, Aileu, Bobonaro, Ainaru, Lospalos, and others.

Meanwhile, the Acting country director of Plan International Timor-Leste, Fatima Estrela Soares said Plan International has focused on a natural disaster reduction program for five years.

“We believed that this meeting is to strengthen cooperation policy on responding to natural disasters. Plan International and UNICEF Co-lead on natural disaster responding.’’ Soares said

Soares said, so far PITL provided over 30 thousand USD to respond to natural disasters every year.



Journalist: José  Belarmino De Sa

Editor: Nelia B.


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