World Bank giving $100 million for Lebanon’s schools
The plan is to get all Lebanese and Syrian refugee children in schools by the end of the 2016-2017 school year.
The new financing was made possible because of a highly unusual decision by the Bank’s Board of Directors to offer Lebanon financing terms that had been reserved only for low-income countries.
In this exceptional arrangement – offered as part of the World Bank Group’s efforts to increase its assistance to both Lebanon and Jordan for their generosity in hosting Syrian refugees – the funds will help improve the quality of Lebanon’s stressed public education system as well as help expand access to all Syrian children between ages 3-18.
Lebanon’s schools have swollen by hundreds of thousands of Syrian children since the outbreak of war in neighboring Syria some five years ago.
Many schools now hold double-shifts of classes in the morning and afternoon to meet the demand. Still, an estimated 200,000 Syrian children living in Lebanon are not going to school.
The $100 million in World Bank Group financing will support the government of Lebanon’s commitment to getting all children aged 3-18 into quality education through the second Reaching All Children with Education (RACE II) plan.
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education has already enrolled more than 200,000 Syrian children in formal schools during the 2015-16 school year.
Lebanon is now accelerating its targets to achieve the Syria Conference goal of all children aged 5-17 in education by the end of the 2016-17 school year. Lebanon also plans to provide early childhood education for all 3- to 5-year-old children. ■