Missing aid millions deny Syrian kids education

Lost aid in Syria
Lost aid in Syria

Millions of dollars pledged by world leaders to get more Syrian children into school failed to reach them, arrived too late or could not be traced due to poor reporting, researchers have claimed, according to the Guardian.

After tracking pledges made at last year’s London conference for Syria, Human Rights Watch said there were “large discrepancies” between the funding donors said was given to education and the amount that reached the intended target.

The conference, attended by Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, David Cameron, the British prime minister at the time, and John Kerry, the former US secretary of state, was hailed as a triumph, raising more money in a single day than any previous fundraising push.

Of the $12bn (£9bn) raised, $1.4bn was intended to enable Syrian children to attend school, preventing the emergence of a “lost generation”.

But the lack of timely, transparent funding meant that more than 530,000 Syrian children in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan, the largest host countries for Syrian refugees, remained out of school at the end of the 2016-17 school year, HRW said.

“Donors and host countries have promised that Syrian children will not become a lost generation, but this is exactly what is happening,” said Simon Rau, author of the report. “More transparency in funding would help reveal the needs that aren’t being met so they could be addressed and get children into school.”

Rau tracked education pledges from the six largest donors – the European Union, the US, Germany, Norway, the UK and Japan – in three host countries.

 At the London conference, ministers and officials from donor and host countries pledged to give all Syrian refugee children between the ages of five and 17 a “quality education” by the end of the 2016-17 school year and to provide the necessary funds.

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