UNICEF urges the Government of Lebanon to prioritize Education and take immediate steps to open public schools

Statement by Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon

19 January 2023

Beirut, 19 January 2023 – “Children in Lebanon are experiencing another devastating disruption to their education following the closure of public schools at the beginning of this month. Unless schools reopen without delay, the immediate and long-term impacts on their learning, protection and future prosperity will be insurmountable and will hinder prospects for a sustainable recovery from the current economic crisis.

Children cannot afford losing access to learning. Schools must stay open.

With our international partners, we have been advocating for the best interest of children. The Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) has proposed a way forward answering the immediate need to bring all children back to school.

Yet, we urge the Government of Lebanon to prioritize long term solutions through the 2023 country budget and take steps to support teachers with an income which provides dignity and so that children can access quality, safe and inclusive education.

UNICEF and the international community continue to provide significant resources to ensure all children living in Lebanon have access to education. We are encouraged by progress made by MEHE on reforms to strengthen transparency and ensure effective and efficient use of funds which allow schools to function and provide an inclusive and safe environment for children.

Today more than ever all stakeholders must prioritize addressing the learning catastrophe. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with MEHE and the Government of Lebanon to keep schools safe and open and ensure all children are back to school.”

Media contacts

Blanche Baz
Communication Specialist
United Nations Children’s Fund Lebanon
Maya Outayek
Communication Associate
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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