An entire generation of schoolchildren in Lebanon will get a boost to their education under a new UK initiative announced today by International Development Secretary Justine Greening during a visit to Lebanon.
The scheme will ensure that every child aged between 6 and 15 who attends state school in Lebanon has a set of textbooks covering key academic subjects. As well as 80,000 refugee children who have fled the fighting in Syria, this will include Lebanese children from host communities who might otherwise be at risk of losing out. Over 300,000 packs of books will be distributed in total.
The Lebanese public school system is under growing pressure to find spaces for Syrian refugee children, as schools are forced to run a shift system where a second school day starts after normal hours to educate twice as many children. Since 80,000 refugee pupils are currently enrolled in Lebanon, every fifth child in school is a refugee.
International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:
“While children in the UK are settling back in to school after their Christmas holidays, Syrian children are facing a third winter away not only from home but school as well. These are the children who will 1 day rebuild Syria and we cannot afford to let them become a lost generation.
“British assistance means every child at school in Lebanon will have their own set of books covering key subjects like maths and sciences. Lebanon has opened its doors to more than 860,000 of its neighbours and we want to help both Syrian and Lebanese children carry on going to school despite the huge strain on resources.”
The new announcement comes the day before a major UN humanitarian pledging conference for Syria, which will take place in Kuwait tomorrow, 15 January. It aims to generate significant new funding pledges from the international community to help provide aid inside Syria and across the region.