President of Caritas Lebanon, Fr. Paul Karam, participated in the conference entitled: “Supporting Syria and the Region” hosted by the Governments of the UK, Germany, Norway and Kuwait in London on the 3rd of February 2016 to raise funds for the humanitarian appeals.
Delegates from 60 countries, including 30 heads of States, attended the conference and pledged $11 billion to support the Humanitarian Response inside Syria and the wider Region over the next four years. The scale of these pledges far surpassed previous efforts, representing the largest amount ever raised in a single day for a humanitarian emergency.
The Conference particularly focused on issues of Education, Livelihoods and addressing the needs of those in Syria.
Caritas Lebanon, being the sole implementing partner of UNICEF in formal education across Lebanon, has reached around 260,000 children in 1st and 2nd shift public schools and has supported education through the covering of transportation costs to the most vulnerable, providing stationary to all students and covering the tuition fees of children enrolled in private and semi-private schools.
Fr. Karam was able to attend both plenary sessions and side events on education, highlighting the importance of access to formal education to all vulnerable children in Lebanon. Participants of the conference agreed ambitious goals so that there will be ‘No Lost Generation’ of children as a result of the Syrian crisis. They committed that by the end of this academic year, 1.7 million children, all Syrian refugee children and vulnerable ones in host communities, will be in quality education. The Lebanese Government will also provide Early Childhood Education for all 3-5 year old children.
The outcomes of the conference were positive and Caritas Lebanon promised to continue working with the support of its partners to highlight that more must be done to bring about a peaceful and negotiated resolution to Syrians, without which, the crisis will not be solved.