Press release | Date: 2015-07-06 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
‘Due to the crisis in Syria, around three million children and young people no longer have access to schooling. More than half of a million of them are refugees in Lebanon. We are now providing an additional NOK 75 million for education for these refugees, which brings Norway’s total contribution for these efforts to NOK 120 million,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
Education for children and young people in situations of crisis and conflict is one of the main themes at the Oslo Summit on Education for Development on 6–7 July, where Elias Bou Saab, Lebanon’s Minister of Education, is a panellist.
‘The authorities in Lebanon and their partners deserve our support as well as recognition for their efforts for Syrian refugees. Despite limited resources, some 106 000 Syrian refugee children are currently attending government-run schools in Lebanon. But the need for education is far from met, and most refugee children are not attending school. It is a tremendous challenge for this small country to provide schooling for refugee children while maintaining education for Lebanese children. Norway, together with other donors, will intensify efforts to ensure that more children will be able to go to school when the school year starts in September,’ said Mr Brende.
Globally, 37 million children do not have access to schooling as a result of crises and conflicts. At the Oslo Summit, Lebanon is being highlighted as one of the countries with particularly serious challenges. The war in neighbouring Syria has forced nearly 12 million people to flee their homes. According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Lebanon is the country that has received the greatest number of refugees, compared to the size of its own population. More than 1.2 million people have been registered as refugees in Lebanon.
‘Norway is spearheading efforts to increase support for education in countries in crisis and conflict. This applies particularly to Syria’s neighbouring countries. Norway is providing a total of NOK 200 million in 2015 to ensure education and protection for children in Syria and its neighbouring countries,’ said Mr Brende.
The additional Norwegian funding will be used for both humanitarian assistance and development aid. Norway’s humanitarian support for civilians affected by the conflict in Syria totals NOK 1.25 billion in 2015.
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