June 28, 2017

Thanks a billion! Education at heart of EU funding to help Syrian refugees and host countries

Turkish students and Syrian refugees are educated together at Istoc Primary School which was visited by Theirworld

Photo credit: Theirworld

Ewan Watt

Online Editor, Theirworld

More than $100 million will be spent on helping children in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan - as part of European Union funding that now totals more than $1 billion.

The European Union has approved a range of new projects worth 275 million Euros ($312 million) to support refugees and their overstretched host communities.

The funding will include more than $100 million of help for education in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan - which together host more than four million Syrians who fled the conflict.

It takes the total spending from the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis past the one billion Euros mark - more than $1.14 billion.

"By enabling girls and boys to access quality education, we are helping to prevent a lost generation of children whose lives have been devastated by the Syrian conflict," said Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission.

The programme for education in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan will focus on providing safe schooling for more refugee children in the next academic year and ensuring they are offered protection from violence, abuse and exploitation.

An allocation of $65 million has been given to Lebanon for education, protection from violence, abuse and exploitation

Photo credit: Theirworld

About $65 million of the education funding will be spent in Lebanon and will include enhanced psycho-social support for children who have suffered trauma.

Johannes Hahn, the EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: "Thanks to the EU Trust Fund, children in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey are able to go to school and have access to safe spaces for non-formal education, protection and psycho-social care.

"Syrian students whose studies were disrupted by the war are receiving scholarships to attend Jordanian, Lebanese, and Turkish universities. Through vocational training and job fairs, Syrian refugees and host communities are improving their chances on the employment market."

Theirworld has worked in Lebanon to expand access to education for Syrian refugees for the past three years.

Syrian children take part in lessons at Istoc Primary in Turkey

Photo credit: Theirworld

Our research, advocacy and campaigning has included pilot projects to demonstrate how small-scale investment in key areas can significantly improve access to education and learning outcomes for vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian refugee children.

In Turkey, Theirworld has worked with partners to establish demonstration projects to address the barriers that prevent refugee children from accessing education in the state school system.

Theirworld has also campaigned vigorously for world leaders to keep a promise made in 2016 to get every Syrian refugee child into school in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan during the current academic year.

As well as Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, the money from the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis will also include new projects in Iraq, the Western Balkans and Armenia.

Other projects include the integration of children into Armenian schools and support for vulnerable girl and women in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

In March, the EU announced its biggest programme for education in emergencies will help 230,000 refugee children attend school in Turkey.

Theirworld's Safe Schools work in Turkey is supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

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