BRICKAVILLE, Madagascar, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- Child victims of cyclones in Madagascar will leave their tent school for study on a new campus, one year after cyclones Irina and Giovanna hit the Indian island country.
"Our school has been damaged by the cyclone in February 2012 and we had to stop courses more than a month," said Isabelle Voharinirina, director of a public school in a remote village Ampasimbe in the district of Brickaville, 256 km northeast of Madagascar's capital Antananarivo.
"We resumed courses in April 2012 but in two tents offered by the United Nation Children's fund (UNICEF). The two low levels studied in the first tent and the provided and the three high levels in another tent," she told Xinhua on Friday.
The primary school has five levels in Madagascar.
"My school has 100 students but a dozen of them left school because of cyclones. Their families became homeless and did not have the courage to send them to school after the cyclones. As result, school performances were very bad," Isabelle added.
Given the situation, Madagascar's government called its partners to help with the rebuilding after cyclones hit the country, Minister of Finance and Budget Hery Rajaonarimampianina said at the inauguration of Ampasimbe's school on Friday.
In response to the call, an agreement of 1 million U. S. dollars in emergency humanitarian aid was signed in August 2012 by the African Development Bank (AfDB), UNICEF the Ministry of Finance and Budget.
"On behalf of Madagascar's government and the Malagasy people, I express my gratitude to the AfDB, that I considered as a true friend always present in difficult moment," the minister said, adding that the AfDB aid for Madagascar has reached 6 million dollars since 2011.
"Education and health are priority areas for Madagascar's government. The budget allocated to it has always been important, occupying the 30 percent of Madagascar's budget," Rajaonarimampianina told Xinhua in an interview in Ampasimbe.
"The hope raised by the reconstructed classrooms with school furniture, latrines and access to water is very important for children who were in those classes before, but also for those who were outside of the system school. It is desirable that this hope endures," the AfDB representative to Madagascar, Abdelkrim Bendjebbour, said at the inauguration.
The ceremony was attended also by Minister of Public Health and Family Planning Johanita Ndahimananjara, Minister of Population and Social Affairs Olga Ramaroson, Secretary General of National Education Ministry Pascal Rabetahina.
"Building is essential, but keeping it in function is the best to achieve the millennium development goals related to universal access to education and reducing child and maternal mortality," Bendjebbour said.
The UNICEF representative to Madagascar, Steven Lauwerier, said, "The AfDB funding meets two objectives: rebuilding basic social infrastructures damaged by natural disasters and rebuilding them with sustainable manner so as to benefit several generations."
Lauwerier said 34 classrooms and three basic health centers were rebuilt, with the 1 million dollars given by the AfDB.
All the classrooms will be finished by the end of February 2013 and all the health centers by the end of March 2013. Twelve of the classrooms have already been completed and two of the health centers are now completed.
Lauwerier said the basic social infrastructures often pay the heaviest price during the passage of cyclones in Madagascar, for lack of guarantee of building in a sustainable manner and without meeting anti-cyclone standards.
The most severely affected by the cyclones Giovanna and Irina in February 2012 were the district of Brickaville and its neighboring district of Vatomandry, where 1,329 classrooms were damaged, affecting more than 77,000 students. Sixty health centers were partially destroyed.
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