New funding provides over 32,000 Palestine refugee children and youth with access to quality, inclusive education and expands COVID-19 prevention measures
22 January 2021, New York – Education Cannot Wait (ECW) today announced US$1.5 million in grant funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in Lebanon.
The expanded funding will provide over 32,000 Palestine refugee children and youth living in Lebanon with access to safe and inclusive learning and will provide personal protective equipment for staff and students to help control the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of all.
“UNRWA tirelessly advocates for the right of all Palestine refugee children to inclusive quality education to develop their full potential – regardless of gender, abilities, disabilities, socio-economic status and health and psychosocial needs,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini. ”As these young girls and boys learn to practice the principles of tolerance, conflict resolution and human rights, they positively impact their community while growing into responsible adults.”
A high-level delegation led by Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, visited Lebanon last month to assess ECW’s support for damaged schools rehabilitation following the Beirut explosion, and to advance progress on a potential Education Cannot Wait facilitated multi-year resilience programme in Lebanon. ECW approved a US$1.5 million education in emergency response to the blast in September 2020 and US$2.8 million in COVID-19 education in emergency response funds last year.
“We must continue to work for, and support Palestine refugee children and youth in Lebanon. They have an inherent human right to protection and quality education. I am especially concerned about the threat of cuts for children with disabilities, whose dreams are at stake,” said Sherif. “I therefore call on all public and private sector donors to support UNRWA and Lebanon’s education system now. By doing so, all these crisis-affected girls and boys will be able to enjoy an inclusive and quality education. All will be given an equal opportunity to become their dream.”
With this new round of ECW funding, UNRWA will reach children in grades 1 to 9 through its Learning Support Programme (LSP), which will ensure that over 200 teachers deliver enhanced and tailored learning support to the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach students, especially children with disabilities. Over half of the project beneficiaries are girls. The new ECW investment will also provide personal protective equipment and supplies to 14,000 children to facilitate the safe reopening of schools and to help slow down the spread of COVID-19.
Notes to editors:
Learn more about ECW-financed programmes in Lebanon.
Programme intervention focus areas:
Access: The intervention will provide services to support children’s access to quality, inclusive, and equitable education in a safe and healthy school environment with a focus on meeting the needs of the most vulnerable children
Continuity: The intervention supports the continuation of the Learning Support Programme (LSP) which reinforces the retention of students currently enrolled in schools, while the provision of PPEs and cleaning supplies enables UNRWA to continue to safely operate schools during the pandemic.
Gender Equality and Equity: The project provides tailored support for the individual learning needs of boys and girls, thus helping to prevent the risk of drop-outs.
Protection: The project will ensure the retention of students within the formal education system, considered to be one of the most important protective layers in a child’s life during times of crisis. Keeping children in school will also allow for the early detection of a range of child protection issues, as well as timely provision of additional support where needed and onwards referral to specialized services.
Quality: “Learning Support” is a special instructional approach designed to help students acquire a desired level of academic achievement by using instructional materials and techniques specifically designed to meet their individual needs in UNRWA schools. Supporting the continuity of the LSP ensures quality of both teaching and learning for all students.