Children account for half of the victims of conflicts across the world and are among the most vulnerable victim groups, often hardest hit by conflicts. When the EU received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2012, it therefore decided to use the prize money to create a lasting legacy in the form of the EU Children of Peace initiative. Through the EU Children of Peace initiative, the EU aims to turn 'children of war' into 'children of peace'.
The initiative funds humanitarian projects for children in conflict-affected regions, providing them with access to schools where they can learn in a safe environment and receive psychological support to deal with their traumatic war experiences.
From the initial €2 million allocated in 2012, the EU doubled the funding to €4 million for Children of Peace projects in 2013. In 2014, the funding reached €6 712 500 million, including the contributions of €500 000 from Luxembourg and €250 000 from Austria. With the additional €11 million released in 2015, the total funding allocated under the EU Children of Peace initiative reaches €23 712 500.
About 270 000 boys and girls in 19 countries have benefitted from the projects so far. In its first year, the initiative reached 28 000 children in Colombia, Ecuador, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq and Pakistan. The second year, the scope was increased to more than 80 000 children, with projects in Afghanistan, Myanmar/Burma, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Ecuador, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Somalia and South Sudan. In 2014, the funding was allocated to projects that are benefitting 155 000 children in Myanmar/Burma, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico, Guatemala, Niger, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Turkey. Over 1 250 000 children are the target of the 2015 projects.
By the end of 2015, more than 1 500 000 children will have been helped in 26 countries overall thanks to the EU Children of Peace initiative.
Education is one of the best tools to help girls and boys build a long-term future. It is particularly crucial for both the protection and the development of children affected by conflict. Apart from contributing to their development, educational activities provide girls and boys with psycho-social support and help create at least some sense of normality.
The EU Children of Peace initiative aims to fund on-the-ground actions and at the same time raise awareness of the importance of children education in emergency situations.
For updates on the projects follow #childrenofpeace on social media.