Press release | Published: 2015-04-15
‘Most of the 665 000 children who have fled from Syria to Lebanon are still not going to school. Norway is therefore increasing its support for education in Lebanon, and will provide NOK 45 million for these efforts in 2015,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
Mr Brende, together with UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown, has invited potential donors to a conference to raise more money for education in Lebanon, which will be held in Washington today. The authorities in Lebanon, together with UNICEF, the World Bank and other organisations, have drawn up a plan for providing education for 400 000 refugee children from Syria as well as poor Lebanese children.
‘Every tenth person in Lebanon today is a Syrian child. Lebanon is a small country that has come under huge pressure, and the task of ensuring education for the refugee children, and at the same time maintaining schooling for Lebanese children, is colossal. The authorities in Lebanon and their partners deserve our full support,’ said Mr Brende.
The conflict in Syria has forced more than 11 million people to flee their homes. Of all the neighbouring countries, it is Lebanon that has borne the greatest burden. Altogether, the country has received more than 1,2 million refugees from Syria.
Norway’s support, which amounts to NOK 45 million, includes funding for both humanitarian and long-term development efforts. Norway’s humanitarian contribution will be part of a NOK 150 million package to provide education and protection for children in Syria and its neighbouring countries. The funding will be channelled through UNICEF, the World Bank, Save the Children, and the Norwegian Refugee Council.
So far this year, Norway’s humanitarian support for the victims of the Syrian crisis has amounted to NOK 750 million.
Mr Brende is currently in Washington to take part in the World Bank–IMF spring meetings.
Press contact: Veslemøy Lothe Salvesen (accompanying the Foreign Minister): +47 99568584.