UNESCO responses to the Syrian refugees Crisis in Iraq

As part of the UNESCO Iraq Office’s Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Iraq, UNESCO has been acknowledged as lead agency on literacy, secondary, technical vocational education and INEE training. In order to ensure refugees’ right to education and to respond to the risk of youth falling into violence caused by the prevalent unemployment and lack of future perspectives amongst the large number of young Syrian girls and boys, UNESCO Iraq is engaging the local government, international organizations, local organizations and donors to improve access to secondary and vocational education, literacy, ICT, entrepreneurial and life skills in both urban areas and camp settings. Planned activities include secondary school rehabilitation, provision of teacher and master trainer training, catch up classes for out-of-school children, temporary schools, and psychosocial support in line with the INEE Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies.

Al-Qaim - Domiz

Under its literacy and life skills programme, UNESCO Iraq is already offering literacy and life skills courses for 700 Syrian refugees in the Al Qaim and Domiz refugee camps. UNESCO is also co-financing the construction of two secondary schools in Domiz and Dara Shakran Camps for 1,000 students, and providing teacher training for both schools with funds mobilized through the Emergency Relief Fund (ERF). The Iraq Office has also just secured additional funding from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) that will allow UNESCO to set up four additional community learning centres for 1,200 Syrian students, catch up classes centres for 250 out-of-school children, mobilize Parent-Teacher Associations in camps through training and awareness-raising for 90 parents and establish an additional secondary school hosting 500 students in Kawargosk camp, aiming to address new educational needs resulting from the increasing influx of Syrian refugees into the Kurdistan region.


In cooperation with the Norwegian Refugees Council (NRC), UNESCO organized the first workshop on the INEE Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I) in the context of the Syrian crisis from 27 to 29 August. The Minister of Education in KR-I, HE Dr. Asmat Mohamed Khalid, opened the workshop, welcoming 30 representatives from UN Agencies, high level government officials, local and international NGOs. Workshop participants increased their understanding of the INEE Minimum Standards, suggested the formation of an INEE working group and discuss the need for coordinated joint education assessment, planning and delivery of educational services in the context of the Syrian refugees’ crisis in KR-I.