New UNHCR Report on (Lack of) Educational Opportunities for Refugees

Read it here


A brief statement from the Report of the dismal facts:

“Of the six million primary and secondary school-age refugees under UNHCR’s mandate, 3.7 million have no school to go to. Refugee children are five times more likely to be out of school than non-refugee children. Only 50 per cent have access to primary education, compared with a global level of more than 90 per cent. And as they get older, the gap becomes a chasm: 84 per cent of non-refugee adolescents attend lower secondary school, but only 22 per cent of refugee adolescents have that same opportunity. At the higher education level, just one per cent of refugees attend university compared to 34 per cent globally.”


Of course, this is not new news.  Initiatives have previously been launched to respond to the “Lost Generation” of Syrian refugee children and to fund education in other refugee emergencies. The problem is that funding for refugee education has generally come from over-stretched humanitarian coffers and been used to establish parallel education systems in refugee-hosting states. A better solution–as I think UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations recognize–would be to include refugee children in local schools, with the necessary support coming from development funding. This is just one of a number of areas in which better coordination between humanitarian and development programming is needed–and one that should be closely watched in the development of the CRRF framework and the UNHCR pilots for the Global Compact on Refugees.

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