The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) is a local non-profit, non-partisan Lebanese human rights organization in Beirut that was established by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily) in 2006. SOLIDA has been active since 1996 in the struggle against arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and the impunity of those perpetrating gross human violations.

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October 3, 2015

The Daily Star - UNICEF, EU announce refugee education grants, October 03, 2015

Syrian refugee children in Lebanon will have better access to education as a result of an agreement signed Thursday between the European Union and UNICEF, providing grants worth 37.9 million euros ($42.4 million). The funding is part of a larger block of grants totaling 62 million euros that will help provide more than 2 million children affected by the ongoing Syrian war with safe access to education, supporting programs in Syria, Lebanon and Turkey, UNICEF said in a statement Friday.

The funding allocated to Lebanon “will provide children and adolescents with access to learning opportunities, health care and child protection, helping 460,000 children, women and caregivers.”

In Syria, the second phase of a 12 million euros initiative entitled “Creating a Path to Early Recovery for Education in Syria” has been launched, enhancing access to preschool, primary and alternative education for affected children and adolescents. “An additional 8 million euros contribution to the same program has just been decided, to expand the coverage of the program and respond to an urgent UNICEF request for school year 2015-2016,” the statement read. “This will bring the overall EU contribution to this program to more than 35 million euros.”

A portion of the support provided in the agreement is from the newly created EU Regional Trust Fund, set up in response to the Syrian conflict and resulting humanitarian crisis.

In Turkey, this fund will reportedly provide 12.5 million euros to “contribute toward increased access to inclusive, quality education, a protective environment and positive youth engagement opportunities for 200,000 Syrian and Turkish children and youth.”

“It is absolutely critical that these children are able to continue their education,” said Geeta Rao Gupta, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director. “It is not just their lives that are at stake, but the future of their country and region.”

The Syrian war is having an enormous impact on children’s access to education. According to UNICEF, 2.7 million children are out of school. “One in four schools in Syria cannot be used; 52,500 teachers have left their posts; and the loss of school infrastructure is estimated to be worth nearly $700 million,” according to UNICEF.

In host countries like Turkey and Lebanon, many children are out of school due to overcrowded classrooms and a lack of the necessary resources. Lebanon has been heavily affected by the Syrian war ever since fighting broke out in 2011, and has received a massive influx of refugees who have fled their war-torn homeland.

Many live in harsh conditions due to financial difficulties and the harsh restrictions placed on them by the Lebanese government.

“This funding will help Syrian children live a more normal life and give them prospects for a better future,” Johannes Hahn, EU’s Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, was quoted as saying in the statement.

“However, despite these efforts, far too many children remain out of school in the region. All partners have to join forces to alleviate the obstacles that deprive these pupils to their right to education.”

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