UN seeks $100 mn to enrol Syrian children in Lebanese schools

UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown wants to raise $100 million so 100,000 more Syrian refugee children can join Lebanese public schools in September.

Beirut: UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown wants to raise $100 million so 100,000 more Syrian refugee children can join Lebanese public schools in September.

Brown, a former British prime minister, said he would mobilise the international community and major donors to raise the money, Lebanese media reported on Wednesday.

The plan aims to raise the number of Syrian schoolchildren in Lebanese schools in the next school year from 105,000 to 200,000, or around half the number of all school-aged refugees in Lebanon.

During his two-day visit to Beirut, the UN envoy met Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam, to prepare for a conference in Oslo to raise funds for the education of refugees.

Brown thanked Lebanese authorities for creating two shifts at their public schools, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, to facilitate the teaching of refugees.

He also regretted the lack of money dedicated to their education by the international community and the lack of aid to a poor country like Lebanon, where Syrian refugees now number over a million and comprise a quarter of the total population.

Brown insisted that the international community must realise its responsibilities and finance the education of the refugee children.

Without the opportunity to attend school, he said, there was a high chance they would be forced to work or even join extremist groups.

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