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Private sector commits 75 million USD to educate 1 million Syrian refugee children

by Theirworld | Theirworld
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 14:12 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Sarah Brown, Executive Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC-Education), outlined new commitments and partnerships from the private sector to help support 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey get an education this year.  

 The announcement was made during the “Supporting Syria and the Region” pledging conference in London1 where GBC-Education convened private sector partners from around the world alongside the conference hosts, UN agencies, and key donors.

 Building on the momentum and the success of GBC-Education’s announcement of over ${esc.dollar}{esc.dollar}{esc.dollar}{esc.dollar}{esc.dollar}{esc.dollar}50 million at the World Economic Forum in Davos two weeks ago, more companies and partners have come forward to offer their support bringing the total commitment and partnerships to ${esc.dollar}{esc.dollar}{esc.dollar}{esc.dollar}{esc.dollar}{esc.dollar}75 million.

 The programs include educational content, digital delivery, skills for employability, and teacher training.

 Sarah Brown said: “The challenge of getting one million Syrian children in school this year requires urgent and innovative support from all sectors, and the business community has a unique role in tackling some of the barriers stopping children getting a quality education.”

 The companies involved will respond to specific obstacles identified by governments in the region to provide education for all. They will draw not only on finance, but also on the creativity, innovation, and networks of the private sector -- all determined to ensure that a generation of Syrian children is not lost.

 Tom Fletcher, Director of Global Strategy for GBC-Education said: “The momentum and support is building. Businesses want to use whatever is at their disposal to support this effort and if we don’t get children in school, we risk seeing a generation of Syrian children without a quality education. For the first time, they will work as part of a joint effort, reducing potential duplication and building unprecedented and innovative partnerships. The negative long term implications of not educating these children is huge.”


It was also announced at the conference that Alex Asseily (Founder of Jawbone) and Tom Fletcher will lead an initiative to further harness the ingenuity of the technology sector, with support from major leaders in the sector. The initiative will report to the International Commission on Financing Global Education in 2016.