Rangoon, Burma (BBN)- Greater support for the educational sector in Burma is an urgent priority, a senior United Nations relief official said at a donors meeting, calling for more resources in the country’s schools, many of which were destroyed by last year’s devastating Cyclone Nargis.

“The international community should increase its efforts, in cooperation with the Government of Myanmar and local organizations, in order to promote quality education for all children and youth,” said Bishow Parajuli, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, said at Tuesday’s gathering in Rangoon.

He urged heads of diplomatic missions, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to shape educational policy in Burma, officially known as Myanmar, by actively engaging with the government and directing funds to schools in order to help achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of universal primary education.

So far, 1,400 schools in the delta have been repaired in the bid to rebuild all the destroyed schools by April 2011 with permanent structures designed to reduce the risk of potential future disasters. According to the Post-Nargis Recovery and Preparedness plan (PONREPP), some $157 million is needed by the education sector over the next three years.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-11June09-3:51 pm (BST)