Together, the Education Above All Foundation (EAA), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), and the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), have committed more than $60 million in funding over seven years to enable out of school children affected by the Syrian crisis into quality education.
In a drive to reach the most marginalized, the extended programme will enroll out of school children living in refugee camps, besieged and hard-to-reach areas where security concerns prevent them from attending formal schools. Through a comprehensive self-study curriculum, children will continue their education at home or in Community Learning Centers, in safe learning environments.
Inside Syria and in refugee-hosting countries, almost 1.2 million Syrian children require humanitarian assistance – up from half a million in 2012, according to latest UNICEF reports. Additionally, an estimated two million children who live in hard-to-reach or besieged areas in Syria have received limited humanitarian assistance over the years.
Barron Segar, UNICEF US Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer, said, “Education is one of the greatest catalysts to transform the lives of the children of Syria. Getting kids affected by crisis back to learning is critical to restore a sense of normalcy to their lives and give them hope for a better future. UNICEF is a global leader in delivering education programs to children in emergencies. Through our partnership with EAA Foundation, we look forward to continuing our work to help a generation of Syrian children realize their full potential.”
Supporting Education in Conflict Areas
Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Kuwari, Director General of QFFD, said, “Investing in education is crucial to addressing extreme poverty and building safe and sustainable societies. It is important that children who live in areas suffering from armed conflict and insecurity are protected, and that they shouldn’t lose the opportunity to go to school and dream of a better future.”
Dr. Mary Joy Pigozzi, Executive Director of EAA Foundation’s Educate A Child programme, said, “By enabling the most marginalized out of school children affected by the crisis in Syria into education, we are investing in the future of the country. Quality education is the driver of human development. It is fundamental to reducing inequality, promoting well-being and building lasting peace and security.”
She added, “Urgent actions should be taken to stop the growth of the number of out of school children. No child should be left without getting education. Only through strong partnerships between governments, organizations and local communities, sustainable development objectives that have been adopted by the United Nations can be realized by 2030.”
Two Partnership Agreements
As part of EAA Foundation’s commitment to enabling 10 million out of school children into quality education, two further partnership agreements have been signed.
EAA Foundation and UNESCO have partnered in Pakistan to reach 100,000 out of school children. Working with the government of Pakistan, the partnership will provide school improvement plans, build government capacity and carry out community outreach; 14 remote districts across the country with low primary school enrolment rates will receive support to enroll children, prevent dropout and improve school facilities.
Furthermore, EAA Foundation and RISE International will provide access to education for 24,000 out of school children in Angola with a $2 million financing contribution from ExxonMobil.
The partnership will construct 25 new schools and provide access to education for vulnerable and marginalized children who have been impacted by years of war, poverty, and a lack of basic infrastructure and social services; through partnerships with local government and officials from the Ministry of Education, the project will also be able to provide essential materials, such as desks, chalkboards and textbooks, as well as recruit school teachers.