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Joint news note

EU donates additional € 10 million to UNICEF for education of children in Syria

Brussels, 9 December 2013 - The European Union has given an additional € 10 million to UNICEF to support access to education for vulnerable and displaced children in Syria.

As the current civil unrest and violence continues to disrupt children’s education in Syria, the grant, provided by the European Commission’s EuropeAid, will help to improve access to pre-school, primary and alternative education for children and adolescents most affected by the conflict.

It is estimated that more than 2 million children have been affected by the Syrian crisis. Between 2012 and 2013 an estimated 1.9 million children have dropped out of basic education and more than half of them still remain out of school.

This is the second contribution from EuropeAid to UNICEF to provide education inside Syria, following a donation of € 5.7 million in June 2013. The donation is in addition to the ongoing support from the European Commission to help UNICEF’s education programmes for Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries, which amounts to more than € 50 million to date.

UNICEF works through schools and the local community to ensure that children who have lost several months of education will be able to catch up with the learning. The programme will help to provide basic education, establish school clubs, refurbish schools and playgrounds, train teachers, and print text books.

The EU and UNICEF partnership will also provide financial and technical support to upgrade the physical environment including buildings and improving water, sanitation and health facilities.

Also included in the funding is technical vocational education and training to upgrade skills of adolescents, and scholarships to female students – all aimed at tackling disparities in educational access and quality.

Two million children and adolescents three to 17 years old, as well as education staff from 300 schools will directly benefit from the EU support. The action enables 1 million children to return to learning activities.

The additional EU funding is targeted at the hardest-to-reach areas of Aleppo, Idlib, Hassakeh and Raqqa.

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About the European Union

The EU is the largest international donor in the context of the Syria crisis accounting for a significant proportion of the overall global funding. The EU has so far mobilised € 2 billion ($2.72 billion) in relief, recovery and development aid from both the Commission and Member States. European assistance reaches up to 80 per cent of the population affected by the crisis.


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work visit www.unicef.org.

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Website: https://www.unicef.org/eu/

For further information please contact:


Lila Pieters, UNICEF Brussels  - Tel: +32 2 505 01 09; lpeters@unicef.org

Rita Ann Wallace, UNICEF New York – Tel: +1212 326-7586; Mobile: +1917 213-4034; rwallace@unicef.org

European Commission

Peter Stano
+32 2 295 74 84

Anca Paduraru
+32 2 296 64 30




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