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EU Trust Fund contribution to UNICEF’s Syria crisis response reaches nearly €200 million

AMMAN/BRUSSELS/NEW YORK, 20 June 2017 – On World Refugee Day, the European Union has renewed its commitment to a generation of children affected by the war in Syria. Through a donation of an additional €90 million, UNICEF will be able to provide critical services and support to vulnerable children and young people in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

Through the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis (the ‘Madad Fund’) UNICEF will continue working with host countries and partners to provide hundreds of thousands of children and young people with access to basic services including education and vocational training, as well as psychosocial support and protection against early marriage and child labour.

This latest contribution brings the total funding from the EU Trust Fund for UNICEF’s work on the Syria crisis response to nearly €200 million. The announcement comes on the heels of the appointment of UNICEF’s newest Goodwill Ambassador, Syrian Muzoon Almellehan, 19, the first person with official refugee status to become an Ambassador for UNICEF.

With the conflict now in its seventh year, around 2 million children from Syria live as refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, adding pressure on already stretched support systems. A unique feature and added value of the EU Trust Fund is its support for both refugee and host communities affected by this protracted crisis.

“The Madad Fund is already driving results for children affected by the conflict in Syria — helping them return to school and learning, and providing them with the support they need not only to rebuild their lives, but someday to help rebuild Syria,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “We need to build on the momentum – investing more today in reaching more children and young people, because the future of Syria depends on the future of the children of Syria.”

“We can and must do more to help,” said Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. “Our EU-UNICEF cooperation has already delivered tangible results: an increasing number of children are enrolled in schools and receive protective and psychosocial services. Inaction is not an option. The price of failure will fall not only on the children of Syria, but on the wider region and the world.”

In line with commitments made in donor conferences for Syria over the past six years, particularly the London and Brussels Conferences, the EU and UNICEF share the determination to invest in those who will build a brighter future for Syria and the region: today’s children.

Children like Nizar, 12. He dropped out of school in Aleppo, Syria because of the war and was behind on reading and writing after fleeing to Jordan with his family. His dream of returning to school came true recently after he attended a Makani learning centre for a year. The centre, which is supported by the EU Trust Fund through UNICEF, taught Nizar and hundreds of other children the basic skills to return to the classroom.

“I want to continue my education and study engineering at university,” said Nizar.

This latest contribution from the EU comes at a critical time. The current funding gap is the largest it has been since UNICEF started responding to the Syria crisis over six years ago.

NOTE to the Editors

The EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis and UNICEF

Since September 2015, UNICEF has worked with the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis (the Madad Fund), to provide sustained, quality education for all children affected by the Syria crisis.  The EU Trust Fund is part of a comprehensive strategy for a coherent and reinforced response to the Syrian crisis. In September 2015, the EU Trust Fund contributed €12.5 million to UNICEF in Turkey.  In March 2016, the EU Trust Fund contributed €90 million to UNICEF to support children and young people affected by the Syria crisis in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

In the countries and communities most directly affected by the crisis, UNICEF works in close cooperation with the EU Trust Fund, host countries and partners to provide education, learning and protection from harm to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugee children and vulnerable youth. The Fund aims to promote education, protection and engagement opportunities for children and young people, whether refugee children or members of vulnerable host communities, so they can enjoy quality education. The Trust Fund also aims to increase access to vocational training for youth and prepare young people for work, with equal access for girls and boys.

For more information please visit:

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 for children visit :

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For further information please contact:

Iris Abraham, European Commission

Tel: +32 (0) 229 67209


Malene Kamp Jensen, UNICEF MENA Regional Office

Tel: +962 (0) 791096 500


Simon Ingram, UNICEF Brussels

Tel: +32 491 90 51 18,


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