The Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund has recently announced its fifth round of grants in response to the increasing educational barriers that vulnerable and refugee youth currently face within Jordan, Lebanon and conflict-affected countries in the UAE.
The Fund has so far awarded AED 120 million (£25 million) in grants over the last four rounds of funding which has impacted more than 62,000 refugees in the region. Having been established in 2018, the Fund has extended grants for a further three years in light of the intensifying poverty rates in Lebanon and Jordan, which reached a staggering 48 per cent among refugees in 2022, with refugees earning on average just $3.50 per day.
Following the announcement, the Fund will invite proposals in the coming months for high-impact programs that prioritise market-driven skill building and development for vulnerable Arab youth. The previous rounds of funding awarded nine grants to institutions in Jordan and Lebanon for educational programs that upskill and benefit the refugee and host communities, from a pool of 62 applicants.
The Fund, which is administered by Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation, was set up by His Excellency Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair to ensure continued education for displaced and vulnerable Arab youth in the region. ‘We are determined to support and encourage youth to be the front-runners of a developed future. With a constant rise in competent workforce demands, our focus lies on empowering the refugee Arab youth to acquire the right knowledge to curate their aptitudes and advance their skill sets. We hope to select partners and grantees that will work directly with the refugees to help drive ‘real’ change and welcome programs that have pioneering approaches to bridging education gaps, catalysing employment, and career progression – enabling refugee youth to become confident and empowered leaders’ said Al Ghurair, Chairman, Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation.
The initial aim of the Fund was to provide access to high-quality education to 20,000 youth in the target geographical areas, with Jordan, and Lebanon being home to the highest number of refugees per capita in the world. However, the youth unemployment rate in the MENA region has remained at 26 per cent, amongst the highest in the world for the past two decades, emphasising the need for the Fund to extend the grants for an additional three years. The fifth round of grants will place a strong focus on the importance of data collection and evaluation, to continuously explore solutions and address challenges in an agile manner for the betterment of the refugee youth.
Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation seeks to empower Emirati and Arab youth through education so that they can thrive and contribute to the development of the region, and works to cultivate sustainable, innovative education solutions through authentic partnerships.