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Estonia Supports Continuation of Education for Syrian Children in Lebanon

04.03.2013

No 79-E

Through UNICEF, the Foreign Ministry is supporting the continuation of education for Syrian children that have been forced by the conflict in Syria to flee from their homes into Lebanon.

According to Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, four million people have already been affected by the crisis in Syria, most of whom are women and children. “The Syria crisis could also be considered a children’s crisis, since over half of the people who are suffering are children. If the crisis continues Syria could lose an entire generation, as the children are being deprived of a childhood,” Paet said.

The foreign minister noted that in addition to a shortage of water and food and overall difficult living conditions, the children also miss playing and attending school. “The education of many Syrian children has been interrupted, and therefore an essential goal for UNICEF is to ensure access to education for children in Lebanon,” Paet said. In order to support the continuation of the education of Syrian children in Lebanon, UN aid organisations require 36 million dollars. “Therefore Estonia has decided to make its own contribution to help support these children,” he added.

At the international aid conference for Syria that took place in Kuwait at the end of January, Estonia pledged to contribute a total of 300 000 euros. “With 100 000 euros we will support the continuation of education for Syrian refugees in Lebanon through UNICEF, and we have already given another 100 000 through the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to support Syrian refugees in Jordan,” stated Foreign Minister Paet.

Over 60 000 people have been killed in the course of the conflict in Syria and according to UN data there are already over 775 000 refugees in Syria’s neighbouring countries Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Egypt.  If the conflict continues this number will grow even more and could reach 1.1 million in the coming months. The number of internally displaced persons in Syria has risen to two million.

SPOKESPERSON’S OFFICE
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