This report looks at the challenges facing two countries on the front-line of the global refugee crisis – Lebanon and Turkey. Between them, these countries have some 732,000 children out of school aged 5-17. In both cases the level of need vastly outstrips the resources available. There are not enough teachers, schools or classrooms – and the education infrastructure that does exist is deteriorating. Refugee children face additional challenges in adapting to a new curriculum. Compounding these challenges, refugee poverty, insecurity and vulnerability create barriers of their own. While this report focuses on financing to deliver on the London Conference pledge, host governments also need to strengthen the reforms needed to deliver education to vulnerable refugees.

In Lebanon—a country of around 4.5 million citizens—almost one in four people today is a refugee. Since the start of the Syria conflict in 2011, 1.1 million Syrians have registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); the Lebanese Government puts the total number at 1.5 million.

Under the law, all Lebanese children should have access to education free from discrimination. Lebanon’s Law 220 of 2000 grants persons with disabilities the right to education, health, and other basic rights. It set up a committee dedicated to optimizing conditions for children registered as having a disability to participate in all classes and tests.

In reality, the educational path of children with disabilities in Lebanon is strewn with logistical, social, and economic pitfalls that mean they often face a compromised school experience—if they can enroll at all.