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'Millions of dollars missing' in school aid for Syrians

'Millions of dollars missing' in school aid for Syrians
From Al Jazeera - September 14, 2017

Governments and aid agencies have been unable to account for millions of dollars in school aid for Syrian refugees, frustrating efforts to meet schooling needs for children in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, according to a rights group.

More than 500,000 school-age Syrian refugees in the three countries were out of school last year, in part because of severe funding gaps, says the report, released by the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday.

There are at least 1.6 million Syrian children refugees in the region.

READ MORE - Syria's lost generation: Refugee children at work

In Lebanon, classes for Syrian refugee children are packed, and students attend school in half-day shifts in order to free up classroom space for enrolment.

Even so, more than half the school-age Syrians in the country are not attending school, according to Lisa Abou Khaled, a communications officer for the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

The challenges include pulling impoverished children away from work, finding money to pay for their transportation and supplies, and helping students feel safe and comfortable in schools.

HRW says late or missing aid has compounded those problems.

The US government aid agency USAID, for example, reported it had given $248m in school aid to Jordan last year, but Jordan's government only reported receiving $13m.

Short of aid pledges

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