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UNHCR and partners to bring education to nine million vulnerable children

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UNHCR and partners to bring education to nine million vulnerable children

26 September 2007

Wednesday 26 September, 2007

NEW YORK, September 26 (UNHCR) - A campaign to raise US$ 220 million to help children of conflict was launched Wednesday by the UN refugee agency at the annual Clinton Global Initiative in New York.

Speaking at a press conference, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, called the ninemillion initiative "a means of ensuring that vulnerable children are fully able to realize their right to an education."

The ninemillion campaign aims to raise US$ 220 million by 2010 to allow nine million refugee and vulnerable children to get an education. Through its Education (Plus) programme UNHCR seeks to address all aspects of a child's educational needs, from teachers and notebooks to transportation, water and vocational training. The programme puts particular emphasis on getting girls into the classroom.

ninemillion brings together UNHCR and private sector partners Nike, Microsoft, Manpower, the advertising group WPP and GSMA, an association of mobile phone operators and equipment suppliers. "I believe the mobile industry can play an important role within the ninemillion initiative as access to telecommunications and the Internet will enable refugee children to learn about their world," said Rob Conway, CEO of GSM.

"We owe every refugee children an education to give them the tools to make a life for themselves," said David Arkless, Manpower's Senior Vice President.

The initial focus of the ninemillion campaign will be on uprooted children from Darfur, Iraq, and Colombia, which are among the world's worst displacement crises.