More than 4,500 students in Pakistan’s Punjab province are now attending classes in 35 newly constructed schools in the districts of Muzaffargah, Rajanpur and Rahimyar Khan.
The U.N. Children’s Fund initiated a schools reconstruction program in the worst flood-affected areas of the country after learning that most of the school buildings, including in Punjab, have been damaged or completely destroyed.
The Netherlands had the biggest contribution to the program — $1.2 million for 24 schools. Meanwhile, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries donated $250,000 for the construction of an additional seven schools. The remaining four schools were funded by Italy, Hungary and Sweden.
Apart from the 35 new schools, UNICEF put up prefabricated school structures with full amenities, including improved facilities providing safe drinking water and proper sanitation, a playground and equipment for physical activities, and many other features that make education fun and attractive for children.
In 2010, nearly a fifth of Pakistan was submerged in floodwaters, the worst in 80 years. Aside from UNICEF, aid agencies such as Save the Children, Hands and Plan International received funding from the U.K. Department for International Development to repair 1,500 schools and build 200 temporary facilities in the provinces of Sindh and Punjab, which were badly hit by the floods.
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