LAHORE - Almost half a million conflict-affected children in Fata and KP will benefit from a better learning environment as a result of key support from the Saudi Fund for Development for the Unicefs Welcome to School Initiative. According to a press release, a hand-over ceremony was held at the Nawan Kalay Government Primary School in Swat Friday. Senior representatives from the KP Education Department, Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) and Unicef, teachers, students and parents attended the event. Speaking on the occasion, Saudi Fund for Development Technical Department Chief Engineer Abdullah Al-Shoaibi said: I admire the people for overcoming whatever they lost in the past during conflict. The future is the future and we are happy to aid them in rebuilding their lives and country. I also admire the Unicef for all of its efforts in the procurement of these educational items that will help in bettering the lives of the children and families in the area. KP Education Minister Sardar Hussain Babak said: In each and every critical situation, the Saudi government and people assisted Pakistan. We are very grateful. We also appreciate the help of Unicef in working with the KP government, Saudi Fund for Development and implementing partners. I salute the people of Swat for braving difficult circumstances in the last two years where teachers and students were threatened. Now I can say that we in KP are the role models for the rest of Pakistan in rebuilding the educational system, said Babak. Unicef Pakistan Representative Dan Rohrmann said: The Saudi Fund for Development and Unicef share a vision of ensuring that children and their rights are protected. By working together, we can make a difference that will forever change the lives of children. An investment in children is an investment in the future. Under the project, a total of 800 schools in six districts of KP and 350 schools in two agencies of Fata will be provided with essential education materials and equipment that will enhance learning. As a result, approximately 483,000 children affected by the conflict will be able to return to school. The project focuses on improving education environment and learning outcomes for children, particularly in areas where displaced families have returned. The SFD provided funding for the initiative by contributing $12.5 million. Under an agreement signed by Unicef and SFD, $23 million has been allocated for an integrated package of assistance for children and families in KP and Fata. The schools are to be equipped with all basic educational, recreational and emergency management services and facilities. Children will be provided with basic learning supplies including textbooks. In addition, an organised campaign to increase student enrolment will be initiated at the community level.