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School education top concern for Syrian refugees — survey

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - Jul 01,2020 - Last updated at Jul 01,2020

AMMAN — More than two-thirds, or 65 per cent, of Syrians residing in the Kingdom said that their top concern is full-time education for their children the moment the conflict ends, according to a Gallup International/ORB International opinion survey adopted by UNICEF.

The survey, conducted through face-to-face meetings with 3,500 Syrian nationals in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, asked about the greatest challenges and concerns they and their children have been facing for nearly a decade since the war began, according to a UNICEF statement.

In the statement published on Tuesday, UNICEF Regional Director in the Middle East and North Africa Ted Chaiban said: “In this survey, Syrians tell us how the war has affected their lives firsthand and the lives of their children and simply how they survived one of the most brutal wars in recent history."

“It is obvious that the wounds run deep and that the impact on the mental health of Syrians is tremendous. We also know from this survey that education for children and poverty are among the top concerns and key challenges,” he added.

UNICEF asked donors to "maintain their generosity towards the children of Syria and neighbouring countries so that children are able to catch up on lost years of education or continue their schooling", according to the official.

"Now with COVID-19 partially disrupting informal education at some UNICEF-supported centres and child-friendly spaces, large scale funding is more critical. This is fundamental for their future and the future of Syria," Chaiban added.

UNICEF, in the statement, said that it currently needs $575 million for programmes in Syria and other neighbouring countries, of which $241.2 million are designated for education. 

"Nearly six million Syrian children were born since the crisis began. They know nothing but war and displacement," read the statement. 

"On average, a child in Syria has been killed every 10 hours due to violence, and more than 2.5 million children have been uprooted and forced to flee to neighbouring countries in search of safety," it added.

In the key findings of the survey conducted in Jordan and Lebanon, "nearly all Syrian refugees surveyed stated that psychological wounds and impact on mental health are as serious as physical wounds" and "more than one-third reported that one of their family members was injured through the conflict".

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