Survey: 60% of Syrian refugee children out of school

Lack of funds is forcing Syrian refugee children to abandon their studies, the humanitarian organisation CARE International has found in a new survey.

CARE’s household assessment of more than 1,900 Syrian refugees living in urban sections of Jordan has revealed that in some areas 60 percent of school-aged refugees are not getting an education. In many cases, families are forced to prioritise food, water and shelter over sending children to school.

Kevin Fitzcharles, CARE’s Country Director in Jordan, said: “What happens now, in the short term, will have an impact on this generation of Syrian children. If these children miss out on their right to an education they might never be able to escape a life of poverty. A decent education provides children the foundation they need to reach their full potential, and is a basic right that no child should be denied.”

The assessment of Syrian refugees in the Mufraq, Irbid, Madaba and Zarqa areas of Jordan found that 50 percent of boys aged 13 to17 were working to support their family income. In addition, 55 per cent of refugee households headed by women reported no income. CARE is concerned that the number of children having to work is likely to rise as mothers face increasing financial pressures.

Fitzcharles continued: “Syrian women are particularly vulnerable as many of them are here without their husbands who are either still in Syria or have been killed. They are left with the responsibility of caring and providing for their young children and older relatives but with no source of income. They are being left with no choice but to send their children out to work– even though it means denying them their childhood and their education.”

CARE believes that every child has the right to a quality education – even in the most difficult circumstances. “The Jordanian Government should be commended for opening its schools and running extra classes for Syrian children but it needs more support from the international community to carry on assisting the refugees,” says Fitzcharles.

CARE called on the international community to ensure that the pledges made in Kuwait on 30th January are delivered as soon as possible and provide additional funds to meet the fast-growing needs of Syrian refugees.

The limited funding hinders the ability of agencies to deliver most urgent humanitarian assistance, reduces the quality of the refugee response in Jordan and ultimately increases the vulnerability and suffering of those that have fled their homes in search of refuge and protection, CARE said.

So far CARE has helped over 30,000 refugees primarily through assistance to help pay for food and housing as well as providing information and referrals to other organisations.

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