#Refugee Response

Refugee flow won’t end unless education opportunities improve

Crisis needs long-term solutions grounded in the needs of refugees

Unless the international community solves the education crisis affecting millions of migrant children, families will continue to risk dangerous, often life-threatening, journeys across land and sea says child-rights organisation, Plan International Ireland.

The organisation is warning that as summer hits, and waters get calmer in the Mediterranean, more and more families will risk the perilous journey from Egypt and other countries to Italy and Greece.

CEO, David Dalton said:

We need to reduce the push factors that are forcing families to take this risk. Too often the decision to migrate is borne out of frustration with the seemingly futile situations they find themselves in,

“Parents want the best for their children. They want them to go to good schools, to be safe, and to have options for their future. If these aren’t available, they will do anything to make it possible”

“The only way the international community can truly slow the flow of migration is by prioritising the services that families most cherish – education for their children and decent work,” added Dalton.

In Alexandria, Egypt, Plan International Ireland, supported by Irish Aid, is currently ensuring that 400 children (320 Syrian refugees and 80 Egyptian children) get the chance to go to school, and have the resources needed to stay in school, and prosper.

Reem, aged 11, is one of the 50,000 Syrian refugee children awaiting registration in Egypt. She attends one of the Plan International supported schools for refugee children in Alexandria. Reem said:

I am so happy about going back to school. It has helped me a lot. Attending these school again makes me feel that someone cares about me and my education

“Our work in Egypt needs to be the template for a long term response to the global refugee crisis. We need to understand the push and pull factors and put in place long-term ways of counteracting them,” concluded David

“Fundamentally, parents want happy, healthy, and safe futures for their families. If they can’t get them in one country, they will move to wherever they think they can. It’s that simple.”