NGO’s stress importance of funding education in refugee-plagued countries

AMMAN — Ahead of a UN meeting on refugees, the NGO Theirworld, released a report last Thursday mirroring UNICEF Jordan’s calls to increase funding for educating displaced Syrian children.
On September 7 UNICEF announced that it would be slashing its programmes in Jordan and leaving 45,000 out of the most vulnerable 55,000 Syrian children without support for education, due to an $8.6 million funding gap. 
At the UN meeting next week for hosting countries, donor governments, multilateral institutions, members of the private sector and civil society participants will discuss education for refugees.
The UNHCR has also called for urgent funding of some $270 million to ensure that vulnerable Syrian refugees do not miss out on protection for the remainder of 2018, the report said, adding that despite promises made by leaders in 2016 that every Syrian girl and boy would be in school by last summer, “more than 30 per cent of them are still being denied education in their host countries”.
Save the Children, a co-host of next week’s UN meeting, stressed to Theirworld that declines in international assistance will have a “devastating impact” on services for refugees in the region, including education.
UNICEF has already said that it would have to reduce the scale of several education programmes for Syrian refugee children due to insufficient international support.
One of the UNICEF programmes to be hardest hit, according to the report, is the Hajati programme, which grants students JD20 a month to help with the cost of school. 
The funding shortfall could also affect around 120,000 students in more than 170 schools and the organisation said there is also a concern that refugee children could suffer elsewhere in the region.
Head of education policy at Save the Children, Joseph Nhan-O’Reilly, told Theirworld that: “Cuts in international assistance both to UN agencies, NGOs and refugee hosting countries throughout the region will have a devastating impact on services for refugees, including education,” adding that, “multi-year, sustained and timely funding to educate refugees in the Syria region remains as urgent as ever”.
The main aim of the UN meeting is to “galvanise meaningful action” and deliver on the commitments to refugee education that were made at the Global Compact on Refugees.
“More than half of the world’s refugee children — 4 million — remain out of school. And in the last year alone that figure has grown by half a million. Our efforts to close the education gap for refugees aren’t keeping pace with displacement,” he said in the report, adding “we want the meeting to be the moment at which we move from rhetoric to results and agree on the practical steps we’re all going to take to deliver meaningful progress”.
Theirworld is a global charity working on improving education and health to  to the most vulnerable children worldwide through research, pilot projects and campaigning.
Jordan Times
September 24, 2018