We are writing to you as representatives of charitable and civil society organizations working with the children and families affected by the Syria crisis.
We want to express our dismay and disappointment if the forthcoming Brussels conference fails to address the plight of Syrian children’s education.
The international community has repeatedly vowed that there would be ‘no lost generation’ of Syrian children, but with the conflict tragically heading towards a second decade, they are more vulnerable than ever.
The 2016 London Conference promised that all children forced to flee the war in Syria would be provided a place in school in neighboring countries within a year. Initial progress has unfortunately stagnated or even reversed in the past couple of years, with over 800,000 Syrian refugee children (39% of Syrian refugee children) out of school. This is in addition to over 2 million children inside Syria – over one-third of Syria’s child population – out of school.
You have a responsibility to renew your commitments to provide education for all Syrian refugee and displaced children. We call on you to ensure that education is not forgotten as you make your speeches and pledges on 30 June 2020. If education is not devoted the attention and resources it deserves, this would be a gross failure of political leadership. Not only will you be failing to meet your promises, but you will be failing Syria’s children.
Syrian refugees haven’t given up on the hope of a decent life and an education. We shouldn’t give up on them.
It is not too late. You can show your commitment on the 30 June by pledging to:
- Put children’s education on the conference agenda, by highlighting education in your statements at the Conference. It would represent a complete dereliction of responsibility if the conference fails to include the views of refugee children, civil society, and others calling for action on education.
- Close the financing gaps, by pledging full funds for education in your support to hosting countries. None of the refugee-hosting countries in the region have had their full assessed funding needs for education fulfilled by donors, leading to an overall financing gap of $556 million for education across the region.
- Support governments in refugee-hosting countries to develop renewed multi-year education plans that are nationally-owned, developed in partnership with refugees and other stakeholders, and have an improved focus on performance and results.