Press Release

Anera and Dubai Cares Partner for ECD Program in West Bank/Gaza

September 11, 2012 – Anera (American Near East Refugee Aid) is pleased to announce a $1 million grant from Dubai Cares to support the Early Childhood (ECD) sector in the West Bank and Gaza. The funds will support a two-year program for preschools in Gaza and West Bank.

“Investment in preschools will ensure greater success in primary education and beyond. For this reason, Dubai Cares is funding the two-year preschool program in partnership with Anera, a reputable non profit organization that has been working in the Occupied Territories for nearly 45 years. This program will have an impact on conflict and highly-marginalized areas in East Jerusalem, Gaza and West Bank that are in dire need of our program intervention,” explained Dubai Cares chief executive officer Tariq Al Gurg. Effective primary education, he added, is crucial to a child accessing and benefitting from primary and secondary education.

Only 30% of preschoolers in West Bank and Gaza have access to kindergarten and many of the school facilities do not meet international standards. The funds provided by Dubai Cares will be directed toward implementing a two-year program for preschools.

“We are honored by Dubai Cares’ trust in Anera to initiate this special partnership for the youngest children in the West Bank and Gaza. We believe that investing in early childhood development is possibly the most significant investment a society can make,” said Anera president Bill Corcoran.

The ECD project will renovate and equip 25 preschools in West Bank and Gaza and provide training and early childhood development in-service diplomas for 125 teachers. More than 3,500 children aged 3-6 years will benefit from improved care, education and development in some of the most marginalized communities. Special reading packs will ensure children have learning materials at home. The project also aims to raise awareness among parents and caregivers about positive parenting techniques.

Anera initiated its multi-year ECD program, Right Start, in 2009 and also supports the Palestinian Ministry of Education efforts to improve long-term ECD policy and programs.