Int’l Donors Offer JD54m To Support Education For Syrian Refugee Children

August 24, 2017

AMMAN — Canada, the EU’s Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the “Madad” Fund, Germany, Norway, the UK and the US announced Monday that they will continue to support Jordan’s “landmark commitment”, made at the Syria conference in London in 2016 and reiterated at the Brussels Conference in April this year, to provide education for every child in the Kingdom regardless of their nationality, according to a joint statement.
At the event, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury thanked the partners for their renewed assistance, saying that “the sustained and continued support in recent years has been critical in assisting Jordan to respond to its humanitarian, resilience and development needs”.
He stressed the importance of the agreement in “creating a better future for all children in Jordan by addressing the challenges they face”, according to a Planning Ministry statement. 
At the Syria conference held in London in February 2016, Jordan presented a plan for “Accelerating Access to Quality Formal Education for Syrian Refugee Children” to donors for the scholastic year 2016/2017 also outlined in the Jordan Compact, the statement said. 
The plan involved increasing the number of double-shift schools for Syrians to 200, employing new teachers and providing training to them, purchasing schoolbooks, providing tuition fees and covering costs for operations, maintenance and furniture in these schools. Five donors committed in May 2016 to fund this plan in order to help Jordan bring more Syrians into formal schools, the joint statement said.
On Monday, Minister of Education Omar Razzaz invited the donor community to Al Yarmouk Basic Mixed School in Amman to reiterate Jordan’s commitment to provide education for all children which has been reiterated at this year’s Brussels conference in April 2017. 
He provided an update on progress of the ministry’s plan for “Accelerating Access” and asked for the continuation of donors’ financial support for the coming scholastic year 2017/2018, according to the statement.
In response to the minister’s presentation and financial request, ambassadors and representatives of Canada, the EU, Germany, Norway, the UK, and the US made jointly available up to JD54 million based upon demonstrated demand for the next school year, the statement said. 
Donors committed new and additional funding in the amount of: Canada JD2.6 million; the EU JD8 million (through the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the ‘Madad’ Fund); Germany JD15.2 million; Norway JD1.3 million; the UK JD15 million; the US JD7.1 million, according to the statement.
The minister and donors agreed that the ministry will set out a plan to increase the number of Syrian refugee children in formal schools “significantly”. 
Also, the minister confirmed that the joint MoE-UNICEF “Catch-up” programme for children 9 to 12 years old will continue to provide children with a pathway into formal schooling. 
The minister and donors established a joint high level steering committee to discuss every three months the progress of the plan for “Accelerating Access”, according to the statement.
The minister affirmed donors that double-shift schools are only a temporary solution for the imminent problem arising from the Syrian crisis. The minister and donors agreed to work together to strengthen the quality and capacity of the education system to improve learning outcomes for all children as set out by the recommendations of the National Strategy for Human Resources Development 2016-2025, concluded the statement.
 
Jordan Times 
August 21, 2017