Millions of dollars in aid money pledged to get Syrian refugee children in school did not reach them

Millions of dollars in aid money pledged to get Syrian refugee children in school last year did not reach them, arrived late, or could not be traced due to poor reporting practices, Human Rights Watch denounces.

Human Rights Watch followed the money trail from the largest donors to education in Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan, the three countries with the largest number of Syrian refugees, but found large discrepancies between the funds that the various parties said were given and the reported amounts that reached their intended targets in 2016. The lack of timely, transparent funding contributed to the fact that more than 530,000 Syrian schoolchildren in those three countries were still out of school at the end of the 2016-2017 school year.

For example, the London conference put Lebanon’s annual education needs at $350 million, yet the United Nations reported that, in 2016, Lebanon received only $253 million for education under a UN-coordinated aid plan—a $97 million shortfall. The six donors reported that in 2016 they gave $223.4 million for education in Lebanon.