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Switzerland gives 5.5M to rebuild Ukrainian schools

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 4 July 2023
Switzerland this week approved of a hefty aid package that will go directly to rebuilding destroyed Ukrainian schools, restoring education to 15,000 children.
Switzerland gives 5.5M to rebuild Ukrainian schools
A boy walks near the memorial for execution victims by Russian troops in the Kyiv area (Keystone SDA).

Switzerland is delivering 5.5 million Swiss francs to provide 15,000 Ukrainian children with access to “decent and safe” education, according to a statement released this week by the Swiss foreign ministry.

“Russian military aggression has dealt a severe blow to Ukraine’s education sector. Thousands of schools across the country have been damaged or destroyed, and many teachers have fled the conflict zones, thereby disrupting the education of millions of students,” the statement read.

The more than $6 million from Switzerland will go to rebuilding and furnishing 30 schools in the Odessa, Poltava and Chernihiv areas of Ukraine. These regions have been heavily affected by the Russo-Ukrainian war.

Switzerland gives 5.5M to rebuild Ukrainian schools
A woman sits in front of the damaged building in the Belgorod region (Keystone SDA).

“This initiative will not only strengthen local public services but also bolster the education system’s resilience in crisis situations. The continuation of face-to-face teaching will also contribute to the integration of displaced children and their families into host communities,” according to the statement.

Under the plan – called Decentralization for Improved Democratic Education (a.k.a. DECIDE) – the schools will be set up with multi-purpose classrooms so that even during air raid warnings children can continue their education.

Switzerland has already provided CHF140 million in aid packages to Ukraine since spring 2022. Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis approved the hefty sum for the DECIDE project. Swiss officials will work together with the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science, the Ukrainian Ministry for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development, and local authorities.

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