The fund focuses on refugees living in overcrowded camps, informal tent settlements and congested host communities where access to online education is currently out of reach.
Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, chairman of the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education (AGFE), has launched a COVID-19 Online Learning Emergency Fund, it announced on April 30.
As part of the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund, the emergency fund will focus on the gaps and challenges faced by the most vulnerable refugee youth and host communities in Jordan and Lebanon, which are in the top 10 countries hosting the largest numbers of refugees globally.
The fund focuses specifically on refugees living in overcrowded camps, informal tent settlements and congested host communities where access to online education is currently out of reach.
It strives to reach 6,000 children and youth to ensure the continuity of their education during the current crisis. For such communities, home-schooling is also inaccessible due to similar challenges.
This emergency fund helps organisations address issues in transferring their education programmes to online modalities or TV, including logistical barriers such as the lack of internet and technology access, which will be addressed through the provision of internet, laptops and tablets, as well as technical support for digital content.
The fund will also provide access to innovative modalities of learning, such as engaging bilingual educational platforms and online tutoring support.
Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair said: “Online learning has become the new norm to ensure the continuity of education for millions of students across the world, and we know that access to this modality of learning is restricted for too many refugee communities. Refugee education has been severely affected by the pandemic and the aim of launching the COVID-19 Online Learning Emergency Fund as part of the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund is to collaborate closely with grantees and partners to find creative solutions to address pressing needs for refugees and vulnerable students.”
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a strategic partner of the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund, emphasised the need for more support to refugee education during this crisis.
Khaled Khalifa, senior advisor, representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries and UNHCR, said: “The world is going through challenging times. The spread of COVID-19 is disrupting the lives and education of millions of refugees. The strategic partnership between UNHCR and The Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund will help provide refugees in Jordan and Lebanon who are not equipped with the necessary tools to join their peers in distance learning without further exposing them to infection.”
The Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education, launched in 2015, supports the provision of high-quality education opportunities for Emirati and Arab youth across the Arab region.