The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Doha-based Educate A Child have announced a three-year partnership to provide access to education for hundreds of thousands of children displaced by conflict in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
Funded by a $57.9 million grant from Educate A Child, a program of Education Above All, the initiative will build on a partnership that has benefited more than two hundred and sixty thousand children since 2012 by supporting the continued education of those students and helping to enroll an additional four hundred and fifty thousand children over the next three years. About half of the beneficiaries are expected to be children displaced by civil war in Syria, with the rest in Chad, Ethiopia, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, and Yemen.
Among other things, the partnership will focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning; ensuring safe learning environments; promoting awareness of and advocacy around the importance of educating refugee children; and strengthening the capacity of and partnerships with ministries of education and other stakeholders to expand access to educational opportunities for refugee children. Efforts will include peer support groups and school clubs for girls in Uganda; a savings and loans program for parent teacher associations in Sudan; an educational summer camp for forcibly displaced children in Syria; and the provision of tablets to enhance access to reading material in Sudan, Rwanda, and Ethiopia.
According to UNHCR, children, who accounted for half of the sixty million refugees worldwide at the end of 2014, face the greatest risks from conflict and displacement, including extreme poverty, social exclusion, trauma, and language barriers.
"Despite progress, the number of out-of-school children is increasing, in part due to the refugee crisis driven by conflict and insecurity," said Education Above All CEO Marcio Barbosa. "It is therefore crucial to act now through initiatives such as this partnership to put measures in place for the hundred thousands of displaced children to continue their education wherever they may be."