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To teach and train Syrian refugees in suitable occupations, KFAS and UNICEF sign two agreements worth US $ 6 million

May 30, 2017

KFAS and UNICEF signed two agreements aimed at teaching and educating Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, which host the largest number of them, and at training them in suitable occupations.

The two agreements are part of the Foundation's commitment in accordance with the pledge of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Amir of the State of Kuwait and the Chairman of the Board of Directors, at the London Donors Conference in February 2016, where His Highness pledged US $ 300 million as Kuwait's contribution to help Syrian refugees.

The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) was represented by the Director General, Dr. Adnan Shihab-Eldin and Mrs. Shahida Azfar, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

 "The contribution of the Foundation in the amount of 50 million US dollars to the project for teaching and training Syrian refugees is but a realization of the pledge of His Highness the Amir at the London Donors Conference," said Dr. Shihab-Eldin. He noted that this contribution represents the support of the private sector for such a humanitarian project as the fund is originally from the contributions of the shareholding Kuwaiti companies to the Foundation at a rate of 1 % of their annual net profit.

The Director General added that the first agreement was signed in Dubai at the UNICEF Charity Auction on 31 March 2017 which netted a grant of US $ 3 million to help the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Dr. Shihab-Eldin explained that the grant, which will touch the lives of approximately 4,500 beneficiaries, is aimed at teaching middle school students in the schools of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Lebanon in evening shifts as well as providing many young Syrian men and women the opportunity to sign up in approved vocational training programs.

The Director General said that the second agreement, signed at the Foundation's headquarters in Kuwait on May 17,  included a grant of approximately US $ 3 million aimed at providing educational support and vocational training for Syrian refugee in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

He reiterated that this grant will include approximately 4,230 beneficiaries through providing educational support to Syrian refugee students in the preparatory and secondary stages by offering them reinforcement and rehabilitation courses in Makani Centers in Jordan.  The target is to bridge the gap as these students dropped out of school and to enable them to enroll in an approved formal education system. The grant also avails these young refugees the chance to engage in vocational training programs through a joint project between UNICEF and LUMINUS Institute for vocational training program (Makani) in Jordan to help them secure future employment.

KFAS Director General expounded by saying that the Foundation aims to contribute through this humanitarian project, assisted by the international community, to save a generation from total loss under dire circumstances and absence of education in the last six years. He added that the project focuses on children and young Syrian refugees aged 15-24, as this population segment is the most vulnerable to various risks, such as forcing children to marry to get rid of their financial burdens, children cheap labor in the market as well as forced recruitment in terrorist organizations to ensure their livelihood and support their parents.

This grant also achieves a positive strategic goal, which is to prepare this generation to play a developmental role in building Syria after the current crisis is over.

Ms. Ebtisam Jragh Al-haddad, Director of Special Projects and Initiatives Office, which coordinates these agreements, stressed that the Foundation is keen to make the most of the available grants by increasing the number of beneficiaries of the approved educational and training programs and by reducing administrative expenses of the implementing agencies, while maintaining quality.