January 04, 2017

Turkey to build 100 schools for 70,000 Syrian refugees with EU funding

Syrian refugee Ivra, 13, attends class in Turkey's Suruç refugee camp. The EU funding means many more Syrian children will be able to go to school in the country

UNHC/Ivor Prickett

Ewan Watt

Online Editor, Theirworld

With more than 400,000 Syrian refugee children out of school in Turkey, the European Union has signed contracts for $280 million to help thousands of them them and their host communities.

One hundred new schools are to be built and equipped in Turkey to help 70,000 Syrian refugee children get an education.

The European Union has signed contracts worth more than $280 million, with some of the money also being used to help the Turkish education ministry manage its services for refugees. Host communities will also be helped by the funding.

"The EU continues to deliver on its firm commitment to support Syrian refugees living in Turkey," said Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.

"We look forward to signing additional contracts in the areas of health, socio-economic support and municipal infrastructure in the near future, to give refugee kids and their families a better perspective in the country."

Turkey hosts more than 2.7 million registered Syrian refugees. They include more than 800,000 children - 400,000 of them out of school.

Some young people have had no schooling for more than five years and Turkey needs urgent help to stop the spread of children falling into child labour.

World leaders promised last year to provide the funding for one million Syrian refugees to go to school in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.


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The Supporting Syria and the Region summit - held in London in February - looked like a turning point in the efforts to give all refugee children in the region access to education. 

The international community pledged more than $12 billion to help Syrian refugees, with $1.4 billion going to education. But a large proportion of the money has still to be delivered and almost one million Syrian refugee children are still out of school.

The new financial boost will help children mainly in the Southern and South-Eastern provinces of Turkey. 

Since March last year, the EU has mobilised $2.3 billion out of the total budget of $3.1 billion under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey.

In July, the EU announced $550 million of extra spending on education for Syrian refugees in the country. 

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