Every Day Counts: An outlook on education for the most vulnerable children in Syria


In 2022, 11 years into the Syria crisis, the conflict’s impact on children is abundantly clear: 2.4 million children have been forced out of school. UNICEF, as a leader of the No Lost Generation Initiative, has spearheaded efforts to set up safe learning environments and child-centred curricula, and ensure the availability of much needed resources to keep children catching up and learning. UNICEF has reached a quarter of all school-aged children in Syria, helping to prevent school drop-out and learning loss.

But economic turmoil and the COVID-19 pandemic have compounded mass displacement and destruction of schools, further jeopardizing children’s education. Going into 2022, a shift is needed away from an ‘education-in-emergencies’ response to a longer-term integrated approach that will strengthen the resilience of learners, teachers, communities and the education system itself and allow a generation of children to develop the skills necessary to cope with a protracted post-conflict context.

What has UNICEF done for Syrian children’s education during the past 10 years of conflict?

Over the past 10 years, UNICEF has led the education response in Syria with the aim to prevent the education loss of a generation. Over 1.5 million children have been supported every year since 2016; this is nearly every fifth school-aged child in the country. Throughout the crisis, UNICEF has rehabilitated schools and provided prefabricated buildings; distributed furniture, learning supplies and textbooks; mobilized communities to enroll their children; trained teachers; and developed pedagogies and materials for accelerated and self-learning. Opportunities have also been extended to 300,000 adolescents and youth a year to learn life skills and to participate actively in their communities. Education interventions have also been on-going in north-west Syria (NW Syria), with more focus on short-term emergency response.