Global Business Coalition for Education

UN Special Envoy for Global Education Calls for Financing to Educate 1 Million Syrian Refugee Children

Olivia Simone - Jan. 12, 2016

13/ An extended family of Afghan asylum-seekers, newly arrived on Greece’s Lesvos Island, wait on the beach for police to register them. From here, they will continue onto Athens. Decades-old instability and conflict in places like Afghanistan means that millions of people remain either on the move or – and increasingly common – stranded for years on the edge of society facing the crippling uncertainty of being long-term internally displaced or refugees. The second largest source country for refugees is Afghanistan.

UNHCR / G. Moutafis

Photo by UNHCR / G. Moutafis.

 

Earlier today, the UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown warned the international community that if they fail to mobilize their support for the education of 1 million Syrian refugee children now, an entire generation of children will be effectively “lost.”  

 

His call to action builds on a successful pilot project in partnership with the Lebanese government that moved 207,000 Syrian refugee children off the streets and into the classroom. More action is needed, however, to make substantial change in this growing crisis. A total of $750 million is needed to educate 1 million more of these children across Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan over the course of 2016.

 

Through a combination of generous European Union funding by development commissioner Johannes Hahn and contributions from both public and private sectors in the region itself, $250m has been raised – the first instalment of the $750 million we need to deliver this bold initiative,” writes Brown in an opinion piece published in The Guardian. “And in the run-up to the UN pledging conference in London on 4 February we are asking donors from public and private sectors to do more.”

 

According to the latest figures, of the 1.3 million Syrian refugee children in neighboring countries, already 500,000 of them are accessing education through an innovative double-shift school system first piloted with the help of GBC-Education this past September. Financing remains the largest obstacle preventing more refugee children from learning, even when capacity and supplies are considered. During a high-level meeting hosted by Legatum Limited in the DIFC in Dubai last month, 30 companies including Coalition members ITWORX Education and NRS International agreed that the private sector can play a crucial role to support this effort.

 

Join them by reaching out to our membership team in New York to learn how your company can get involved, and by signing the petition here.

 

Learn more about the role education plays in the refugee crisis here.

 

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