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Estonia Helping to Provide Education for Syrian Refugees in Jordan

17.06.2013

The Foreign Ministry is supporting the creation of a learning environment for primary school-aged Syrian refugees in the Za’atr refugee camp in Jordan.

According to Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, Estonia would like to help improve the situation of Syrian refugees in Jordan. “A majority of the Syrian refugees are children, and therefore it is especially important to provide opportunities for them to continue their education. I have visited the Za’atr refugee camp and the situation there is very difficult,” Paet noted.

The foreign minister stated that an estimated 60% of the Syrian children that fled to Jordando not have an opportunity to attend school, and during the 2013-2014 academic year the number of school-aged children will increase by another 80 000. “In order to handle the increasing number of pupils, the number of classroom spaces must increase considerably and an effort must be made to create good conditions for a learning environment,” Paet explained.

Therefore the Foreign Ministry has decided to donate 89 076 euros to a project of the NPO Mondo that is focusing on creating learning environments for children in the Za’atr refugee camp in Jordan. In addition to an opportunity to continue their studies, the project also aims to provide post-conflict psychological support for children.

The foreign minister also stated that the humanitarian situation in Syria remains a cause for concern and that the number of refugees in Syria’s neighbouring countries is growing every day. “The international community must continue to support Syrian refugees and the countries that have made an effort to receive them. The ongoing flow of refugees from Syria significantly impacts the entire region and could destabilise the countries that are receiving them,” stated Foreign Minister Paet. Every day about 8 000 people leave Syria and by the end of the year the number of refugees will reach 3.5 million.

As a consequence of the conflict in Syria that began in March of 2011, over 70 000 people have died, 5 million have been forced to leave their homes, and 1.5 million have fled to neighbouring countries. According to UN data, there are a total of 1.4 million refugees in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Egypt.

This year Estonia already donated 100 000 euros through the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to support Syrian refugees in Jordan and 100 000 euros through UNICEF to support continuing education for the Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Estonia donated 220 000 euros to support victims of the Syria crisis last year.

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