Rudayna Abdo - Lebanon - 05/10/2021 11:04
The toll that armed conflict has on a society is enormous, acutely impacting the children displaced by it. In addition to the physical, psychological and economic damages wrought on everybody, conflict and displacement additionally rob children of their future by disrupting, and often ending, their opportunities for education - and education is indisputably the key to unlocking a child’s future potential.
Refugees spilling over the borders of neighboring countries can quickly overwhelm the host’s ability to absorb the children into their domestic school systems. In most situations governments and international aid organizations step in first to respond with emergency measures to provide education. However, with protracted instability and bleak prospects of a quick return to their home country, these emergency education measures have needed to shift to long term and sustained measures, putting an added strain on host country governments to tackle this challenge.
Lebanon, a small country facing its own economic and political strains, started absorbing a disproportionately large number of Syrian refugees across its porous borders from the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011. While Turkey eclipses Lebanon in the total number of Syrian refugees accommodated (3.6 million registered Syrian refugees; 4.5% of the Turkish population), Lebanon has taken on the biggest burden per capita of accommodating displaced Syrians. There are almost one million registered refugees. And these are only the documented numbers. There are many that remain undocumented and unofficial estimates are more like 1.5 million, or 25% of the total Lebanese population.