INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE SET TO BEGIN AID PROGRAMS FOR IRAQI REFUGEES IN SYRIA
"Conditions for Iraqi refugees in Syria are rapidly deteriorating," says Amanya Michael Ebye, the IRC's Middle East Regional Director. "Iraqi families are struggling with depleted savings. And they have limited access to basic services and employment in an overburdened country that lacks the resources to adequately provide for the refugees."
According to the Syrian Government, there are hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children of primary and secondary school age. Although the Syrian government allows Iraqi children to enter the school system, only 50,000 of them were enrolled in the past school year.
Ebye says expanding educational opportunities will be an early focus of the IRC's work in Syria. "Our first project will be rehabilitating and expanding overcrowded and dilapidated schools in Damascus," explains Ebye. "Renovating the schools will improve the learning environment and alleviate overcrowding. Together with remedial classes that the IRC will also support, we hope more children will be encouraged to attend school and stay on track with their studies."
The IRC has also seconded an education specialist to UNHCR's Syria office to support their efforts to aid Iraqi children. An IRC expert on sexual violence will be arriving soon to help the UN agency with programs to prevent sexual violence, forced prostitution and "survival sex" and assist victims of sexual violence.
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