JRS response to Brussels Conference on Syria
26 April 2018

photo: Kristóf Hölvényi/JRS MENA

Beirut, 26 April 2018- The Jesuit Refugee Service Middle East welcomes the commitments made at the Brussels Conference on Supporting Syria and the Region. Conference participants pledged $4.4 billion for both Syria and the region in 2018, as well as multi-year pledges of $3.4 billion for 2019-2020.  

The importance of education for forcibly displaced Syrians played a prominent role at the Conference. At this point in the Syrian crisis, it is crucial to ensure that the 2.8 million Syrian children currently out of school have access to education. Education offers an important form of protection for children and engenders hope as it prepares refugees to meet future challenges. JRS urges donors to prioritize funding for education programs as commitments from the Brussels Conference are fulfilled. 

“Education is not only about knowledge, it is about the whole person”, Fr. Nawras Sammour SJ, JRS Middle East Regional Director highlights. JRS is running different programs in the region in order to address these needs including early childhood education, learning support, formal education, psychosocial support and also social and educational activities for parents. 

Having considered all the efforts made by the host countries, JRS wants to highlight some points regarding the needs of the families we are serving. Access to secondary education is limited for many refugees who wish to continue attending school or vocational training, due to a lack of resources and the need for many to work to support their families. It is also important to provide psychosocial support to refugee children, many of whom have experienced trauma, and to focus on children with special needs. They are some of the most forgotten refugees.

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Cedric Prakash SJ