New donation of € 4.6 million (£3.7 million) signed today to scale up support to refugees and host communities brings total EU contribution for education to €10 million (£8 million)

The European Union (EU) has donated a further €4.6 million (£3.7 million) to UNICEF for emergency education programmes in Jordan, benefiting Syrian refugee children as well as children of host communities. This brings its total contribution to €10 million (£8 million) this year. The announcement was made by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director, during a joint visit to the newly opened school at Za’atari refugee camp in northern Jordan.

"We have to ensure that families who have had to flee their country can live in decent conditions and that their children do not lose their right to education and to a brighter future,” President Barroso said. “Investing in education is investing in the future.  I am therefore glad that the EU can support schooling of Syrian refugee children in Za’atari."

The EU has been supporting access to school for vulnerable children since the last school-year, including formal, informal and non-formal education and psychosocial support in communities hosting refugees. 

"These schools can become oases of physical and psychological peace for Syrian children who have experienced what no child should," said Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF. "Here they can play and learn and heal and be children again. EU support has helped make this possible."

Today’s donation helps Syrian refugee children in Jordan where they presently live: inside the refugee camps, and outside along with the children of the Jordanian communities hosting them.

It covers teacher training and salaries, school fees, text books, school equipment and refurbishment, psychosocial support for children in need and other costs related to school years 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.

The Za’atari camp school, which opened last week, can currently accommodate up to 2,200 students, although UNICEF is increasing capacity to 5,000 and will continue to work to meet growing needs in the camp.

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For further information, please contact:

Ju-Lin Tan, Media Manager, UNICEF UK, +44 (0)20 7375 6069, +44 (0)7814 549 071, julint@unicef.org.uk

Leonor Ribeiro da Silva, European Commission Spokesperson, +32-498-981-669, Leonor.Ribeiro-da-Silva@ec.europa.eu

About UNICEF

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights in more than 190 countries. As champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works to help every child realise their full potential. Together with our partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments, institutions and corporations, and is not funded by the UN budget. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org.uk