During the 51-day war in Gaza, air strikes and ground incursions resulted in major damage to the education sector. Six government and private schools, eleven kindergartens and three higher education institutions were completely destroyed. Some 450 education facilities (176 government and private schools, 263 private kindergartens and 11 higher education institutions) sustained minor, partial, major or severe damage, resulting in a loss of access by children to quality education and safe learning environments. In addition, 83 UNRWA schools were damaged, all of which have been repaired.
After eight months, funding has been secured for all government schools reported by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE) as damaged during the 2014 conflict and 160 of these schools have been repaired so far. However, construction has not begun on any of the government and private schools that were completely destroyed.
In addition, 74 kindergartens that sustained minor damage have been repaired by education cluster partners. Work on another 74 kindergartens is either in progress or planned. Funding is still required for the remaining 115 kindergartens, in addition to 11 which were totally destroyed. Funds for damaged and destroyed higher education institutions have been secured through UNDP and repairs to those that sustained minor damage are already in progress.
* This piece originally appeared in OCHA’s April 2015 Humanitarian Bulletin.