Education should be a pillar of humanitarian responses
S&D Chair of the Committee on Development, Linda McAvan, and S&D Development Committee Coordinator, Norbert Neuser, have participated in a Development Committee fact-finding mission that took place 11-12 September in Gaziantep, Turkey. The aim of the delegation was to gather field-knowledge of the situation of Syrian refugees established in south-east Turkey. Development committee members have visited the refugee camp of Kahramanmaras in which UNICEF supports a school and a child-friendly space. In this context, the MEPs had the opportunity to meet and discuss with the children, their parents, but also with UNICEF and ECHO staff, among others and some teachers working in the centres.
Linda McAvan said:
"All the interlocutors have underlined the crucial role that education plays for the daily life and future of Syrian children. The Turkish authorities are making a huge effort to facilitate education to all the refugees but it is complicated especially in the case of those living off the camps. We applaud the efforts of all the institutions present on this camp and in particular of the Syrian voluntary teachers working in the camp schools and centres. Their example should encourage the EU to keep on supporting education in humanitarian crises by increasing its fund allocation."
Norbert Neuser added:
"The longer a humanitarian crisis, such as the Syrian one, lasts the more education efforts are needed. Education is fundamental to avoid losing a whole generation and ensuring that the Syrian youth will ultimately contribute to rebuild their country. Our Group will continue working for the future of the refugee children."