UNESCO and Education Above All, a foundation established in 2012 by Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the wife of the former emir of Qatar, have announced a joint initiative to develop quality education in Lebanon, including a $10 million commitment to rebuild schools damaged by the Beirut port explosion in August.
The country’s education infrastructure was seriously damaged by the explosion, which partially or completely destroyed some two hundred schools in Beirut and its environs and has disrupted the start of the new school year, depriving some eighty-five thousand Lebanese and non-Lebanese students of their right to an education.
Against that backdrop, UNESCO launched the LiBeirut initiative to mobilize the international community’s support for the recovery effort. With support from the Qatar Fund For Development, EAA and UNESCO have already rehabilitated fifty-five schools, twenty technical and vocational education and training (TVET) centers, and three universities in the city, and work is under way on another 20 percent of the damaged schools, which are expected to reopen between November and February, depending on the extent of the damage.
“As the UN agency designated to coordinate this rehabilitation effort, UNESCO is committed to ensuring a rapid and comprehensive educational recovery,” said Stefania Giannini, the agency’s assistant director general for education. “Thanks to the partnership between [the] Education Above All Foundation and UNESCO, we will ensure that students find their way back to repaired schools. This is our promise to the children and youth of Beirut.”