Japan contributes US$6.8 million to enhance access to education and child protection services in crises-affected areas in Syria

29 February 2024
A young girl reads from her book in class
UNICEF/UNI492523/Bashar Al-Kheder

DAMASCUS, 29 February 2024 – The Government of Japan has contributed US$ 6.8 million to UNICEF to improve the well-being of vulnerable and earthquake-affected children and young people in Syria and enhance their access to education and child protection services.

Children in Syria have been struggling to cope after nearly 13 years of sustained conflict, continued displacements, the impact of unprecedented economic crisis, and disease outbreaks. When the deadly earthquakes struck in February 2023, approximately 5,900 people, including children, in Syria were killed and more than 12,800 were injured. An estimated 8.8 million people, including 3.3 million children, were affected, and the infrastructure already weakened by the conflict was severely damaged.

“When we commit to addressing not only the short but also long-term needs of the most vulnerable children in Syria, we can help them recover and equip them with the skills they need to build a better future,” said Hirofumi Miyake, Charge d’Affaires and Special Coordinator for Syria. “With this funding, the Government of Japan aims to provide protection services, create safe learning environments, and bolster skills development and resilience-building opportunities among vulnerable children and young people across the country.”

Through the new contribution, children at risk of violence, abuse, and exploitation and their caregivers will benefit from improved prevention, protection, and response interventions. It will help to increase access to inclusive, safe, and supportive learning environments and spaces for children. Through remedial classes, self-learning programmes, and digital learning, it will support out-of-school children and children at risk of dropping out to recover from learning loss and build their resilience. In addition to the increased learning opportunities, the contribution will also support building skills for work. These investments will promote building social cohesion, enhancing young people’s participation in their societies, and accelerate their engagement with the labour market.

“I would like to thank the Government of Japan for its longstanding partnership. Sustainable funding is critical for UNICEF to invest in early recovery efforts, stand with affected families, and build back better for every child in Syria,” said Yasumasa Kimura, UNICEF Syria Representative.

The Government of Japan is UNICEF’s valued partner. The Government of Japan is among UNICEF’s top donors and contributed about USD 56.9 million between 2020-2023 to support vulnerable children and families in Syria.

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