Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and UNICEF sign a new partnership to support education for children

To mark the International Day of Education, the Minister of Education and Higher Education visits Uruguay Public School with a delegation from the Agence Française de Développement and UNICEF

24 January 2024
During the signing ceremony - AFD

24 January 2024 – France, through the French Development Agency (AFD) announced a new 14.7 million Euros contribution to the education sector in Lebanon to ensure equitable access to quality, relevant and inclusive learning and development services for the most disadvantaged girls and boys over two school years. The contribution also aims to improve the governance and efficiency of the education sector while supporting structural reforms through the Transition Resilience Education Fund (TREF). The announcement was made on the International Day of Education by the French Ambassador to Lebanon M. Hervé Magro and the AFD Director Mrs. Catherine Bonnaud during a joint field visit to Uruguay public school attended by the Minister of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) Dr. Abbas El Halabi and UNICEF Representative Mr. Edouard Beigbeder.

Through this contribution, UNICEF will ensure access to education to more than 90,000 children to learn in an inclusive, gender-responsive and protective environment. Additionally, more than 16 000 children will benefit from cash for education assistance while over 33,000 adolescent girls will receive hygiene kits. Moreover, AFD is funding the rehabilitation of 30 public schools in 2024 including solar energy to ensure uninterrupted learning. Through the TREF, AFD will also support the implementation of structural reforms to achieve a quality, resilient and efficient education system.

The Minister of Education and Higher Education, Dr. Abbas Al-Halabi, said: “This generous French contribution to the Education sector through the French Development Agency and UNICEF is a continuation of the existing partnership between us and the French Embassy with all its agencies, to enhance the operation of the ministry and leave no one out of education, and conclude the school year without interruption.”

The French Ambassador to Lebanon M. Hervé Magro said “France is convinced that there will be no possible recovery in Lebanon without a solid and renovated education system. The school is indeed the ideal place for learning to live together and for shaping the future citizen. Therefore, we are particularly proud to officially announce today, through the AFD, our new contribution to the TREF. This complements the rich range of programs already implemented by France in support of equal, quality, and multilingual education in Lebanon."

"Through our contribution to the TREF, alongside our European partners (EU and KFW), we reaffirm our commitment to equitable access to quality education for all children, especially the most vulnerable,” said AFD Director Mrs. Catherine Bonnaud. “This support for the education sector is now possible thanks to the joint efforts of development partners, gathered around the TREF, with UNICEF as a trusted partner for program implementation. This is, of course, made possible through the strong commitment of the Lebanese government, particularly the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, to invest more in the sector and implement structural reforms."

“On the International Day of Education, we reiterate our commitment to children’s right to be in school and learn. Our new partnership with the French Government will support us in accelerating learning results for children and respond to the many challenges the education sector is facing”, said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon. “Education is one of the best investments we can make for children’s future. No effort should be spared to keep schools open and children learning. We must make sure that every child has access to an education, no matter where they live or who they are”.

Media contacts

Christophe Boulierac
Chief of Communications
United Nations Children’s Fund Lebanon
Blanche Baz
Communication Specialist
United Nations Children’s Fund Lebanon


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit

Follow UNICEF Lebanon on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and TikTok.