Press release

UK doubles education support for refugees in Lebanon over next 3 years

An additional £10 million per year for the next 3 years will support thousands more free school places and reach children not in schools.

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The UK will support a further 59,000 school places for Syrian refugees and vulnerable children in Lebanon while providing classes and support for thousands more who are out of school. This comes as the UN warns that another million Syrians could flee their homes before the end of the year.

Up to £20 million will be provided to support Lebanon’s severely overstretched school system and give children who have lost everything the chance of a better future. This investment will double Britain’s planned investment in education in Lebanon over the next 3 years.

It will also provide education to 30,000 out of school refugees and poor Lebanese children. This will include offering regular classes and lessons in core subjects to ensure children do not fall behind.

Four years of fighting has forced half a million school-age children to flee from Syria to Lebanon. More than half of them do not have access to a decent education. Britain remains firmly committed to helping this traumatised generation of refugees to continue their education despite the crisis.

New support from Britain will include:

  • school places for 59,000 Syrian refugees and poor Lebanese children in local public primary and secondary schools
  • educational classes for around 30,000 of the most vulnerable refugees and poor Lebanese children. This quality, non-formal education will provide regular classes in literacy, mathematics and language skills to the most vulnerable refugee children unable to attend public school. They will also take part in recreational activities that help improve social cohesion and wellbeing. Awareness sessions are provided to parents to teach the importance of education, gender equality and child protection. Experts from DFID and the government of Lebanon have identified children most likely to be out of formal public schools, including children forced to work, children with special needs, disability and conflict trauma, or the very poorest.
  • advice and support to the government of Lebanon to improve access to secondary education as well as primary education and provide refugees with internationally recognised examinations for 16 and 18 year olds
  • help for the Lebanese government to keep its overstretched public school system running and achieve high learning standards. Support from Britain will ensure fee free education and free textbooks continue, while grants to improve classroom learning, extra-curricular activities for social cohesion and rehabilitation of school buildings will improve learning for all children in Lebanon.

The UK supports the aspirations of Syrian refugee families and their children for academic progress and employment that will enable them to prosper, make a contribution to the region, and eventually return to rebuild Syria. Britain is at the forefront of the international response to the Syria crisis, and our support is already giving thousands of refugees the chance to continue their schooling.

In addition to today’s announcement, UK has already committed £1 billion to assist vulnerable people in Syria and refugees in the region. This includes an existing allocation of £20 million to education in Lebanon in the next 3 years.

In Lebanon alone since the crisis began, we have helped their government to double the number of free school places for refugees in Lebanon to 200,000, supplied more than 300,000 textbooks and we are working with the UN and refugee parents to keep children in school. However it is clear there is still much more to do. That is why, in addition to doubling our support to education in Lebanon, we are lobbying other countries to step up their support for vulnerable refugees fleeing Syria.

Published 14 September 2015