UNICEF and Norwegian Air are sending an aircraft filled with humanitarian aid and what they all a “school in a box,” which they say provides everything a teacher needs to set up a makeshift classroom for as many as 40 students.
“Nearly 6 million Syrian children have had to flee the war,” Bernt G Apeland, secretary general of UNICEF in Norway, told newspaper Dagsavisen. “Most are still in Syria but more than 2 million have come over the border.” He estimates there are around 220,000 Syrian children in Jordan who should be in school. Sitting in a classroom setting, he said, can also help the children deal with the trauma of their forced relocations.
UNICEF and Norwegian Air, which is providing the air transport, are also sending toys and other relief items. The Norwegian government, meanwhile, is in dialogue with several other countries about a planned donors conference for Syrians displaced by the war.
“To mobilize the necessary resources, Norway has taken the initiative for the conference, which will be held in early 2016,” said Prime Minister Erna Solberg this week. She said Norway was organizing the conference with Germany, Great Britain, Kuwait and the UN.
The government has also boosted aid to refugees both within Syria and in neighbouring countries. Solberg said Norway now ranks as the sixth-largest donor to the region and the second-largest in relation to the size of Norway’s own population. Norway intends to donate at least NOK 1.5 billion to the region next year, in addition to the billions needed to cover the costs of refugees arriving in Norway.