Despite the challenges hindering humanitarian operations in Jordan, three World Vision partners have started up education programs for young Iraqi refugees in the region.
Jordan and Syria are hosting the majority of the more than two million Iraqi refugees that are scattered across the Middle East. Hundreds of thousands more have fled to Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and the Gulf States. Another two million are displaced within Iraq.
Although up to a quarter of a million of the refugees in Jordan are of school age, only around 10,000 are going to school, according to the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR.
World Vision partner organizations in Jordan are finding ways to work with young Iraqi refugees, with one organization now operating day programs for 200 children. Iraqi youth are able to learn leadership skills and resilience through the center.
Another local partner – a children's nursery – is providing pre-school education for up to 150 children, as well as English classes and life skills to teenage girls. And through a third local organization, 250 young Iraqis are being provided with recreational and educational activities such as drama, arts, languages and literacy.
World Vision is working through four local partners in the areas of informal education, peace-building, psycho-social support, food distributions and healthcare. In addition, the international relief agency aims to build international awareness of the plight of Iraqi refugee children through the international media and lobbying of key governments
World Vision has declared the Iraqi displacement crisis as a Category III emergency – the highest level of emergency within the international aid agency's partnership. Relief and advocacy teams are conducting the response jointly.
In April, World Vision launched the report "Trapped! Unlocking the future of Iraqi refugee children" at UNHCR conference in Geneva, highlighting the challenges faced by the children.