Education to benefit as UK announces extra £100m for victims of Syria crisis

Children in conflicts, Education funding

Syrian refugee children in Lebanese classroom Picture: Russell Watkins for DFID

The United Kingdom is to ramp up its spending on education in Lebanon and help to provide schooling for more than 120,000 children in Syria.

The measures are included in a new package of help for victims of the four-year Syrian conflict and vulnerable people in several African countries.

The additional £100 million ($156 million) support for Syria and surrounding states from the Department for International Development (DFID) includes an increase in funding to up to £20 million ($31 million) for education in Lebanon this year in preparation for school enrolment in September.

DFID said this will help ensure that both refugee and Lebanese children can benefit from an education. It will include education for children inside Syria, as well as providing teaching and learning materials.

DFID said the programmes are part of a wider approach by the British government “to tackle the migrant crisis and will focus on the fragile and vulnerable states from which the majority of migrants are leaving”.

UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: “We have to tackle instability and lack of opportunity in the world’s most vulnerable countries, from Sudan to Syria, Nigeria to Lebanon, if we are to get to grips with the problems causing people to flee their homes.

“This new package from the UK will support at least two and a half million refugees and vulnerable people across the main countries that migrants are travelling from and through. As well as providing immediate lifesaving aid, it will create jobs and help people find work, improve health services and boost education in the longer term.”

The additional funding takes the UK’s total funding in response to the Syria crisis to £900 million ($1.4 billion).

Apart from the education funding, the DFID support for Syria and surrounging countries includes:

  • Vaccinations for nearly 430,000 children inside Syria as well as healthcare, counselling and protection services for refugee children across the region
  • Initiatives to provide thousands of vulnerable people inside Syria and across the region with food, clean drinking water, relief assistance, health support and shelter
  • Almost 60,000 cash transfers and vouchers for refugees in Lebanon and Jordan so they can directly purchase the goods they most need.

The new support in Africa totals £217 million ($340 million) to help about 2.5 million refugees and vulnerable people in countries that the majority of migrants are travelling from or through. This includes the Sahel region, South Sudan, Kenya, Sudan, Central African Republic and Nigeria.

The additional British funding comes just days before world leaders gather at the Oslo Education Summit on July 6 and 7. It was also announced on the same day that more than 30 of the world’s leading charities and campaign organisations joined forces to call on world leaders to create an urgent fund to provide education for children affected by wars and natural disasters.

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