EU contributes € 10 million to UNICEF education programmes for children of Syrian refugees and host communities in Jordan (07/10/2012)

New donation of € 4.6 million signed today to scale up support to refugees and host communities brings total EU contribution for education to €10 million

AMMAN, 7 October, 2012 - The European Union (EU) donated a further €4.6 million to UNICEF for emergency education programmes in Jordan, benefiting Syrian refugee children as well as children of host communities. This brings its total contribution to €10 million this year. The announcement was made by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director, during a joint visit to the newly opened school at Za'atari refugee camp in northern Jordan.

"We have to ensure that families who have had to flee their country can live in decent conditions and that their children do not lose their right to education and to a brighter future," President Barroso said. "Investing in education is investing in the future.  I am therefore glad that the EU can support schooling of Syrian refugee children in Zaatari."

The EU has been supporting access to school for vulnerable children already since last school-year including formal, informal and non-formal education and psychosocial support in hosting communities. 

"These schools can become oases of physical and psychological peace for Syrian children who have experienced what no child should," said Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF. "Here they can play and learn and heal and be children again. EU support has helped make this possible."

Today's donation helps Syrian refugee children in Jordan where they presently live: inside the refugee camps, and outside along with the children of the Jordanian communities hosting them.

It covers teacher training and salaries, school fees, text books, school equipment and refurbishment, psychosocial support for children in need and other costs related to school years 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.

The Za'atari camp school, which opened last week, can currently accommodate up to 2,200 students, although UNICEF is increasing capacity to 5,000 and will continue to work to meet growing needs in the camp.

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: http://www.unicef.org

For further information, please contact:
Sarah Crowe,
UNICEF Spokesperson on mission to Amman,
+1-646-209-1590,
scrowe@unicef.org 

Simon Ingram,
UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa,
+962-79-590-4740,
singram@unicef.org

Leonor Ribeiro da Silva,
European Commission Spokesperson,
+32-498-981-669,
Leonor.Ribeiro-da-Silva@ec.europa.eu