UNICEF calls on all stakeholders to re-open public schools and ensure all children are learning

14 February 2023

Beirut, 13 February 2023 – Public school closures in Lebanon for the past six weeks have caused large and persistent damage to children’s learning, mental and physical well-being and safety.

UNICEF acknowledges the dedication and commitment of teachers to their students and understands the negative impact of the economic crisis on their lives. We also recognize the efforts of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to secure the allocation of additional domestic funding to support teachers.

It is time now for all stakeholders to come together to ensure that all children get back to school and that learning is never interrupted again.

We continue to sound the alarm on the education crisis. When schools close, early marriage increases, sexual exploitation and abuse of children and child labour rise. The impact will be devastating on the future and well-being of children and youth, their families, and Lebanon’s prosperity. Preliminary World Bank analysis indicates that a lost year of schooling would translate into losses to the Lebanese economy of up to USD 400-500 million over the future working lives of the affected students.*

UNICEF, together with the international community will continue our long-standing support to the education sector to ensure that all children in Lebanon have access to education.

*This sentence was revised to reflect updated analysis by the World Bank using a 10 percent discount rate for calculating the net present value of future benefits. The previous estimate used a 3 percent discount rate.

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 www.unicef.org/lebanon/.

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