Photo by A World at School.
The following announcement is based on three reports collectively called Scaling Up to Reach One Million Refugee Children: Accelerating Progress on Education for Syrian Refugees in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. Find the full reports on our Original Resources page.
In collaboration with the Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC-Education), A World at School, and Theirworld, education experts unveiled a sweeping plan to get more than one million Syrian refugee children into school in Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon. In the fifth year of the ongoing crisis, these three countries host the lion’s share of the Syrian refugee population.
If international donors and partners continue to neglect the budgetary shortfall needed to place these vulnerable children into classrooms, the report warns, then these children will be at an increased risk of child labor, early marriage, exploitation, and extremism.
The release of the three reports comes just weeks prior to the start of Lebanon’s new school year where 200,000 students could be back in school if we meet the estimated $30 million shortfall. Though there are enough trained teachers and classrooms to integrate the Syrian refugee children into schools, there is a severe financing deficit. Tom Fletcher, Global Strategy Director for GBC-Education and former British Ambassador to Lebanon, says the need is urgent:
“Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey have shown extraordinary generosity. We must match this by delivering the support that can get the one million children what they want and need — an education, a future, and hope,” says Fletcher. “People, governments, businesses are asking how they can help. This plan is the answer.”
Within the reports tailored to Syria’s three neighboring countries, Maysa Jalbout, education expert from the Brookings Institution and author of the reports, highlights a series of opportunities to deliver education rapidly in the immediate term and build out longer-term strategies to reach over one million refugee children.
“Many of these children are now facing their fifth year out of school,” says Jalbout. “Providing education for them will enable them to learn the valuable skills necessary to be productive members of their communities and eventually return and rebuild their home country.”
The three reports were announced today during a UN press briefing with the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown.
On 29 September 2015, GBC-Education, in collaboration with Theirworld, will hold an annual meeting, this year focused on partnership from the public and private sector to support education in emergencies. In July, GBC-Education announced business sector support for a new global humanitarian fund and platform for education in emergencies.
“The Lebanese Government has thrown open our school doors to help give these children the education they deserve,” says Lebanese Education Minister Elias Bou Saab. “But we cannot act alone and we should not be expected to. Many countries are already helping but we need more countries to make real commitments to funding education for the refugee children. As we get closer to the start of the school year this need is becoming urgent.”