The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila, in cooperation with UNICEF, supported “Back to School” programme to provide essential supplies for learning to schoolchildren in Marawi affected by the Marawi conflict.
Marawi conflict also known as the Marawi siege was a five-month-long armed conflict between Philippines government and militants associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The conflict started on 23 May 2017 and ended five months later. It was considered as the Philippines’ longest urban battle in the modern history.
More than a thousand dead, 359,000 displaced and over 179,000 schoolchildren were affected because of the closure of schools during the crisis. Two years later, the schools were reopened but more than 100,000 children have not yet returned causing those children to lose their opportunities to study.
“These children need to go back to schools immediately,” said Bjørn Jahnsen, the Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines.
“Norway supports UNICEF’s ‘Back to School’ programme to help children, and their families hurdle barriers so children can go back to school,” he added.
Norway and UNICEF also teamed up to assist in conducting a learner tracking system that can monitor schoolchildren’s locations so that the authorities involving in this programme can understand barriers and reasons that kept these children from going back to school.
Based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework, Norway’s development policy aimed to promote sustainable development, peace and justice particularly children’s rights to education by providing schooling for children and young people who have been forced to flee their homes or who live in areas of conflict.