The State of Qatar’s participation in the sessions of the United Nations General Assembly, including the 78th session, which will be held next September in New York, reflects the State’s strong commitment to the concerns and issues of the world and the international community, especially issues related to development, peace, security and stability, foremost of which is education as the driving force behind all of these efforts.
The participation of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and his speech before this annual global forum stresses Qatar’s firm belief in supporting the efforts of the international community towards urgent and vital issues, which play a role in achieving peace and the well-being of humanity without exception or discrimination, in light of the extremely difficult and complex circumstances and changes that the world is witnessing and their negative effects, which have special impact on weak, fragile and poor countries and societies.
The world still remembers fondly the announcement of HH the Amir in September 2018 of Qatar’s pledge to provide quality education for one million girls by 2021, which is a milestone in the history of international development initiatives regarding the provision of quality education for girls and women in developing countries.
HH the Amir also announced his support for the Charlevoix Declaration regarding the provision of quality education for girls and women in developing countries, especially since the State of Qatar prioritized education both internally and externally, which was reflected in its international development aid programmes.
Within the framework of the State of Qatar’s interest in education, His Highness said that Qatar has led the efforts to issue the UN’s landmark resolution on the right to education in emergency situations in 2010, which indicated that a large proportion of the world’s children out of school live in conflict-affected areas.
In a related context, HH the Amir affirmed when he opened the Least Developed Countries Conference hosted by Doha last March, Qatar’s active role in multilateral international action across the fields of development, humanitarian, human rights, and mediation to promote international peace and security.
His Highness added in this context “Based on our National Vision 2030, which upholds the values and principles of cooperation, partnership, and solidarity in helping countries, peoples, and communities suffering from humanitarian crises, conflicts, poverty, and debts, the State of Qatar has made a lot of humanitarian and development contributions in accordance with the formulas of bilateral and multilateral cooperation, especially within the framework of strategic partnerships with the United Nations and other leading international institutions.”
Based on the State of Qatar’s firm commitment to supporting the development process of the least developed countries, His Highness announced a financial contribution of a total amount of USD 60 million, of which USD 10 million will be allocated for supporting the implementation of the Doha Program of Action activities for the least developed countries, and USD 50 million will be allocated for supporting the intended outcomes of the Doha Program of Action and building resilience potential in the least developed countries.
International Qatari institutions stand out in the fields of supporting education and development in countries in need, led by the Education Above All Foundation (EAA), the Silatech development organization, and other initiatives, institutions and projects that Qatar presents to the world as a contribution to strengthen international efforts to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Commenting on the educational initiatives led by the Education Above All, Director of External Relations at EAA Leena Al Derham said in an interview with Qatar News Agency , that education is a major goal of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, and EAA has shown commitment to ensure education keep pace with the requirements of the current era.
She explained that EAA is cooperating with its partners to find innovative solutions that meet the needs in the educational fields in a sustainable manner. She drew attention to the urgent and vital need to achieve this goal, noting that there are 67 million children outside the school walls, which means that one-sixth of children of primary school age around the world are deprived of their right to education due to poverty, conflict, displacement, discrimination, disability and other obstacles.
The director of external relations at EAA affirmed the Foundation’s keenness and constant endeavor to ensure the provision of quality education for every child, regardless of his or her location or circumstances, while working to achieve effective partnerships to ensure children are not left out of school.
She highlighted the role of HH Chairperson of Education Above All Foundation Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, in setting the goal of educating 10 million out-of-school children in a decade, noting that EAA exceeded this goal in 2018 by returning 15 million children to schools through partnerships with international organizations and banks, as well as support from the Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD).
The EAA works with around 100 partners through several programs, such as Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict, ROTA, Educate a Child and Al Fakhoora, in addition to managing the Global Innovation Fund and the Together Project.
Leena Al Derham stressed the EAA’s keenness to devise original solutions to address any challenges that prevent comprehensive and equitable access to quality education for all, adding that they have to bridge the digital divide if they want to ensure that no child is left behind, and this is the reason for their innovation and original solutions to address unresolved education challenges in the most hostile or low-tech settings.
Among these innovative solutions is the Internet Free Education Resource Bank to support learners with limited access to the internet through simple and interactive modules, with more than 500 educational resources in ten languages. It also helps in providing education to the millions who do not have access to formal, in-person or online learning.
She said that the Bank has reached more than half a million learners in 175 countries so far, pointing out that EAA also developed an emergency curriculum designed specifically for children whose lives have been disrupted by conflict and displacement, supporting them psychologically and socially, in addition to providing them with reading skills.
She noted that thee emergency curriculum reached more than 4,000 Ukrainian refugees and nearly 50,000 Afghan students over the past year.
In addition to these coordinated initiatives in the fields of education, the State of Qatar is making international efforts to protect education in areas of conflict through continuously highlighting the importance of sparing education the scourge of conflict in the world, which received a great response from the international community.
This was clear in the response of the United Nations General Assembly, which adopted in its 74th session, the draft submitted by the State of Qatar to establish the International Day to Protect Education from Attack in 2019, which the world celebrates on September 9 every year. Qatar has also been a major supporter of the Safe Schools Declaration since its launch in 2015. In this context, Leena Al Derham pointed out that EAA is a pioneer in the global movement to stop attacks on education.
It works through the ‘Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict’ to protect and preserve education from attacks in times of conflict as part of human rights, with a focus on marginalized communities and those affected by conflicts. She referred to the Foundation launching, in cooperation with its partners, the Track Attacks on Education (TRACE) Data Portal to protect education during conflicts, pointing out that with the existence of this portal, the world is now close to holding those who attack education accountable for their actions. She indicated that all this comes after years of calls, which also led to the announcement of the International Day to Protect Education from Attacks and the unanimous issuance of United Nations Resolution No. 2601, which was adopted in 2021 and calls on states to do their part to help prevent attacks on education and empower youth with education, skills and values of good citizenship.
In the context of her interest in young people, Al Derham mentioned in her interview with QNA that the Foundation seeks, through a wide range of programs and initiatives, to enhance their capabilities and qualify them to deal with, respond to and recover from humanitarian crises, while paying particular attention to ensuring that marginalized students have access to higher education through Al Fakhoora’s programme, as it provides scholarships for refugees, displaced persons, and youth of host communities in the Middle East and North Africa region and beyond. The number of scholarships in exceeded more than 10,000.
Additionally, the Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) Program is one of the programs of EAA that aims to direct efforts towards areas in need, in order to build a world in which young people feel a sense of belonging, and are empowered to increase their knowledge and skills. Al Derham added that the ROTA program focuses on supporting young people in the field of green skills to enhance their role in facing global challenges, especially climate change, pointing out that the program was able to train more than 60,000 young men and women in several regions, including communities suffering from the effects of conflict and violence.
In a related context, she noted that support for refugees and immigrants was not focused on abroad, as the EAA is working at home to ensure that all children residing inside the State of Qatar have access to fair education opportunities, through the Together project launched by the Foundation, which works in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and in partnership with local supporters.
She also mentioned that the Foundation has also established an academic bridge within the Global Innovation Development program, which aims to enhance practical skills in reading, writing and arithmetic in eight different languages, for out-of-school children between the ages of 4 and 17.
She explained that the design of this program is based on the idea of self-learning. It enables children to continue their basic or vocational education, allowing them to become active and productive individuals, capable of making a positive change in their communities. More than 800,000 people have benefited from the free electronic educational resources bank, as it has been downloaded in more than 150 countries around the world, Al Derham said. Regarding educational and development initiatives of the State of Qatar, Silatech plays a prominent and distinguished role in providing dignified and sustainable livelihoods, especially in marginalized communities, and in improving the quality of life for young men and women in countries around the world, especially in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Since its inception in 2008, the Foundation has been working to connect young people with job opportunities and economic empowerment, especially those affected by conflicts and crises such as refugees, the displaced and the marginalized, through two main programs: the Employment Program and the Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development Program. Silatech, in cooperation with its partners, has succeeded in the context of Qatar’s development initiatives worldwide and within its stated goals in linking about two million young men and women with jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities in 20 countries.
It is in the process of expanding in new countries and regions in an effort to reach 5 million young men and women in order to connect them with jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities. The Foundation made many partnerships with international institutions and organizations to achieve it goals.
In Yemen, it launched its second phase of partnership with the European Union to provide job opportunities and a source of income for more than 50,000 young men and women after the success of the first phase to support more than 38,000 young people with various projects that respond to the needs of young people and meet the requirements of the local community.
It also entered into a partnership with the Save the Children organization to implement the Youth Empowerment in Somalia project, which aims to provide ten thousand young men and women with the technical skills necessary for them and link them to the labor market to compete in it. In this regard, Partnerships and Resource Mobilization Officer at Silatech Foundation Fahd Abdullah Malak said, in an exclusive statement to QNA, that the Foundation believes that the path to achieving sustainable and comprehensive development begins with young people, and that they need skills, resources and opportunities that enhance their potential and achieve their ambitions.
He added that the Foundation seeks, through its partnerships with a variety of international and regional bodies, to facilitate access to these needs to ensure a bright future by supporting them with economic opportunities to achieve their dreams.
He added that they are proud to be part of the initiatives aimed at creating a better world, adding that they look forward to expanding their efforts to help more young people around the world.
In conclusion, the State of Qatar has become, through these institutions and initiatives, a leading country in its UN and international partnerships to support sustainable development issues, as well as support poor and needy countries and enhance their educational and development plans.
Qatar’s efforts did not stop at this point, as it led many vital international conferences and events, which effectively contributed to finding solutions and fulfilling global commitments and policies in the fields of education and development, in addition to hosting many representative offices of United Nations agencies concerned with these areas.
Source: Qatar News Agency