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CARE Urges Global Action to Save Syrian Refugee Children

Syrian child refugees in Jordan have no access to school and are forced to work to support their families

ATLANTA (April 24, 2013) – Syrian refugee children are being abandoned by the international community as funding runs out, the humanitarian organization CARE has found in a new survey. CARE’s household assessment of more than 1,900 Syrian refugees living in Jordan has revealed that, in some areas, 60 percent of school-aged refugees are not getting an education. In many cases, families are forced to prioritize food, water and shelter over sending children to school.

“What happens now will have an impact on this generation of Syrian children,” says Kevin Fitzcharles, CARE’s country director in Jordan. “If these children miss out on their right to an education they might never be able to escape a life of poverty. A decent education provides children the foundation they need to reach their full potential, and is a basic right that no child should be denied.”

CARE’s assessment of Syrian refugees in the Mufraq, Irbid, Madaba and Zarqa areas of Jordan found that 50 percent of boys aged 13 to 17 were working to support their family income. In addition, 55 percent of refugee households headed by women reported having no income. CARE is concerned that the number of children having to work is likely to rise as mothers face increasing financial pressures.

“Syrian women are particularly vulnerable as many of them are here without their husbands who are either still in Syria or have been killed,” says Fitzcharles. “They are left with the responsibility of caring and providing for their young children and older relatives but with no source of income. They are being left with no choice but to send their children out to work even though it means denying them their childhood and their education.”

CARE believes that every child has the right to a quality education even in the most difficult circumstances. “The Jordanian Government should be commended for opening its schools and running extra classes for Syrian children, but it needs more support from the international community to carry on assisting the refugees,” says Fitzcharles.

CARE is calling on the international community to ensure that pledges made in Kuwait on the January 30 are delivered as soon as possible and provide additional funds to meet the fast-growing needs of Syrian refugees. The limited funding hinders the ability of agencies to deliver most urgent humanitarian assistance, reduces the quality of the refugee response in Jordan and ultimately increases the vulnerability and suffering of those that have fled their homes in search of refuge and protection.

CARE is addressing the needs of thousands of Syrian refugees living in vulnerable host communities. So far CARE has helped more than 30,000 refugees primarily through assistance to help pay for food and housing as well as providing information and referrals to other organizations. Find out more >

Notes on survey:

  • The assessment used a mixed methodology and assessed data from more than 1,900 Syrians living in four urban areas of Jordan Mufraq, Irbid, Madaba and Zarqa.
  • The number of households surveyed was 240, with a total number of 1,476 household members and 89 focus group participants representing 534 household members.

About CARE:

CARE has been working in Jordan since 1948. CARE Jordan has extensive experience working with refugees, providing livelihood training and opportunities, emergency cash assistance, information sharing and psychosocial support to Iraqi refugees since 2003.

Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience delivering emergency aid during times of crisis. Our emergency responses focus on the needs of the most vulnerable populations, particularly girls and women. Women and girls are at the heart of CARE’s emergency relief efforts because our experience shows that their gains translate into benefits for families and communities.

Essential to CARE’s lifesaving humanitarian work is our commitment to help rebuild safer, stronger places that people call home. Our programs to improve health and education, promote social justice and open up economic opportunities make communities more resilient and less vulnerable to the forces that cause emergencies. Last year CARE worked in 84 countries and reached more than 83 million people around the world. To learn more, visit www.care.org.

Media Contacts:

Atlanta: Brian Feagans, CARE, bfeagans@care.org, +1.404.979.9453, +1.404.457.4644
Atlanta: Nicole Harris, CARE, nharris@care.org, +1.404.979.9503, +1.404.735.0871


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