1.2 million children affected by Syrian crisis are benefiting from education through Education Above All Foundation and partners

News and Press Release
Originally published


  • During the 72ND UNGA, Education Above All Foundation has announced three new projects in Syria with US UNICEF; Pakistan with UNESCO and Angola with RISE International.

  • Extended partnership with UNICEF USA will reach 95,000 children affected by the Syrian crisis, with co-financing from the Qatar Fund for Development, bringing the total number of children reached by EAA to 1.2 million.

  • Education Above All Foundation is a member of the UNESCO 2030 Steering Committee representing Foundations to enable Sustainable Development Goal 4.

New York City, NY, USA, Friday 22 September, 2017

Education Above All (EAA) Foundation and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have announced a new project to enable a further 95,000 children affected by the ongoing conflict in Syria to access quality education with co-financing by the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD). This brings the total number of out of school children affected by Syrian crisis, reached by the EAA Foundation, to 1.2 million.

Together, EAA Foundation, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNRWA and the Qatar Fund For Development, have committed more than $60 million in funding over seven years to enable out of school children affected by the Syrian crisis into quality education.

In a drive to reach the most marginalised, the extended programme will enrol out of school children living in refugee camps, besieged and hard-to-reach areas where security concerns prevent them from attending formal schools. Through a comprehensive self-study curriculum, children will continue their education at home or in Community Learning Centres (CLCs), in safe learning environments. Inside Syria and in refugee-hosting countries, almost 12 million Syrian children require humanitarian assistance – up from half a million in 2012, according to latest UNICEF reports. Additionally, an estimated two million children who live in hard-to-reach or besieged areas in Syria have received limited humanitarian assistance over the years[1].

Barron Segar, UNICEF USA Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer, said: “Education is one of the greatest catalyst to transform the lives of the children of Syria. Getting kids affected by crisis back to learning is critical to restore a sense of normalcy to their lives and give them hope for a better future. UNICEF is a global leader in delivering education programs to children in emergencies. Through our partnership with EAA Foundation, we look forward to continuing our work to help a generation of Syrian children realize their full potential.”

The Qatar Fund For Development emphasised that education enjoys the largest share of the Fund’s support, in line with the State of Qatar’s foreign aid priorities. The Director of the Qatar Fund For Development, His Excellency Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Kuwari, said:

“Investing in education is crucial and essential to addressing extreme poverty and building safe and sustainable societies. It is important that children who live in areas suffering from armed conflict and insecurity are protected, and that they shouldn’t lose the opportunity to go to school and dream of a better future.”

Dr Mary Joy Pigozzi, Executive Director of EAA Foundation’s Educate A Child programme, said: “By enabling the most marginalised out of school children affected by the crisis in Syria into education, we are investing in the future of the country. Quality education is the driver of human development. It is fundamental to reducing inequality, promoting well-being and building lasting peace and security. “Urgent action is required to stem the growing number of children who find themselves out of school. No child should be left without an education. It is only through strong partnerships between governments, organisations and local communities that we will realise the U. N’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”

Worldwide, 121 million children and adolescents are out of primary and lower secondary education and progress towards reducing this number has stagnated since 2007[2].

As part of EAA Foundation’s commitment to enabling 10 million out of school children into quality education, two further partnership agreements have been signed:

  • EAA Foundation and UNESCO have partnered in Pakistan to reach 100,000 out of school children:

  • Working with the Government of Pakistan the partnership will provide school improvement plans, build government capacity and carryout community outreach;

  • 14 remote districts across the country with low primary school enrolment rates will receive support to enrol children, prevent dropout and improve school facilities.

  • EAA Foundation and RISE International will provide access to education for 24,000 out of school children in Angola with a $2 million financing contribution from ExxonMobil.

    • The partnership will construct 25 new schools and provide access to education for vulnerable and marginalized children who have been impacted by years of war, poverty, and a lack of basic infrastructure and social services;

    • Through partnerships with local government and officials from the Ministry of Education, the project will also be able to provide essential materials, such as desks, chalkboards and textbooks, as well as hire school teachers.


Notes to editors:

About Education Above All Foundation:
Education Above All (EAA) Foundation is an initiative founded in 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. The Foundation envisions bringing new life chances, real hope and opportunities to improve the lives of poor and marginalised children, youth and women especially in the developing world. It aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for vulnerable and marginalised people especially in the developing world, as an enabler of human development. To date, EAA Foundation has commitments to provide education opportunities to 7.2 million children worldwide, with a goal of reaching 10 million.

EAA Foundation believes that education is a fundamental right for all children and an essential condition to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). It is the single most effective means of reducing poverty, generating economic growth and creating peaceful and just societies, which is at the core of the Foundation’s philosophy.

Since its inception, EAA Foundation has been dedicated to providing education opportunities for marginalised and vulnerable children, youth and women even under the most difficult circumstances such as conflict situations, natural disaster and other physical barriers. EAA Foundation is a current member of the UNESCO SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee who make recommendations on how to achieve quality education for all. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @EAA_Foundation, Facebook and Instagram @educationaboveall_eaa

About Educate A Child
Launched in 2012, EAC aims to trigger significant breakthroughs in providing quality primary education to the 61 million children who currently have no access to schooling. Through EAC supported programming, children overcome barriers to educational access and retention. With the overall goal of successfully completing an entire cycle of quality primary education, EAC strives to improve both individual and social outcomes for these children. For more information, visit

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. UNICEF USA supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit

About RISE
RISE International builds primary schools in rural Angola to educate children, empower communities and contribute to the rebuilding of the country. RISE believes every child deserves the right to education, and works to give children the chance to go to school in areas where accessibility is limited or non-existent. For more information, visit

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was created in 1945 to promote solidarity and dialogue among nations in education, the sciences, culture and communication based upon respect for commonly shared values. Exchanges and cooperation among the Organization’s 195 Member States in these areas is intended to promote peace and contribute to sustainable development.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organisation dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. UNHCR works to ensure that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge, having fled violence, persecution, war or disaster at home. Learn more at and follow the work on social media @Refugees and #WithRefugees.

About the Qatar Fund For Development
The Qatar Fund For Development is a Qatari institution that was established in 2002 and officially mandated to coordinate and deliver foreign aid on behalf of the State of Qatar. QFFD has provided assistance to numerous countries across the world with the aim of responding to the needs of various sectors, including education, health, and economic development. QFFD is committed to providing foreign aid through bilateral and multilateral agreements according to the best professional practices. For media enquiries, please contact:

Hannah Barlow, Portland Email: Phone: +44 (0) 20 7554 1871

[1] UNICEF, Decades of progress for children at risk across Middle East and North Africa

[2] Global Partnership for Education, Out of School Children