What Can Be Done for Syria's Refugees?

Susy Ndaruhutse and Amy West

In response to the Supporting Syria in the Region conference in London, Susy Ndaruhutse of the Education Development Trust and AIR's Amy West call for a doubling of aid for education resources in the region from 2 to 4 per cent of all humanitarian aid. In the New Statesman commentary, What Can Be Done for Syria's Refugees?, Ndaruhutse and West argue that increased pledges are not enough, and that we must re-learn the lessons of the Marshall Plan.

With a UNHCR estimate of nearly 60 million individuals fleeing their homes due to war, persecution and violence, swift action following those pledges is vital. Syria is one example of failure. Today, one third of Syria’s 6.4m school-aged children are not in school, have never been inside a school or have lost more than four years of education.

The Marshall Plan recognised and addressed the basic needs and rights of refugees everywhere. The assumption, proven correct by Europe’s postwar rebirth, was that some things cannot wait a generation. Access to education for children displaced by today’s conflicts ranks highest among these.