AMMAN/BEIRUT, 20 January 2014 – An initiative aimed at increasing learning opportunities for Syrian and Lebanese children in Lebanon was at the centre of discussions between Caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, and a UNICEF delegation led by Deputy Executive Director, Ms. Yoka Brandt, at last week’s international pledging conference for the Syria crisis.
During the meeting in Kuwait City, Ms Brandt acknowledged the unfailing efforts of the Prime Minister Mikati to an initiative promoted by UNICEF, the Lebanese government, ministers, donors and other partners aimed at putting hundreds of thousands of children who dropped out of school back in the classroom or informal learning spaces, adding that Lebanon can be considered a model for the region as a whole.
The initiative calls for improved infrastructure and equipment in Lebanese public schools, and an increase in the number of trained teachers necessary to meet the needs both of Syrian refugee children now in Lebanon as well as children from the mainly poor communities that are hosting them.
The initiative will provide 435,000 vulnerable school aged children with improved learning opportunities at a cost of $532.6 million over a period of three years.
Support for the initiative has also come from UN Education Envoy Gordon Brown.
The initiative is in response to the ever-increasing challenges facing children affected by the Syrian conflict and is a key part of the No Lost Generation campaign launched by UNICEF and partners earlier this month. UNICEF estimates there are around 3 million Syrian children who have dropped out of school or are not receiving education on a regular basis.
About UNICEF: UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: http://www.unicef.org
For more information, please contact:
Simon Ingram, UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, , +962-79590-4740, firstname.lastname@example.org
Juliette Touma, UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, Tel. +962-79-867-4628, email@example.com