Fifteen-year-old Sbehi, center, is the sole breadwinner for his family of eight.
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Sbehi is among more than half a million Syrian refugee children of school age – or one-third of the total – who are not in school or informal education in overburdened regional host countries Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt and Iraq.A U.N.-led $8 billion aid appeal for 2017 – $3.4 billion for Syria and $4.6 billion for the host countries – was only 25 percent funded by July, according to U.N. figures.In Jordan, about 126,000 of 212,000 Syrian refugee children are enrolled in school, with the government supporting the campaign by doubling the number of schools with two shifts to 200 in the fall of 2016 .This includes new catch-up programs at 60 centers where children who missed more than three years of school can make up for lost time.This leaves about 40,000 Syrian refugee children in Jordan who can't or won't return to school, as well as thousands more at risk of dropping out. Robert Jenkins, the head of UNICEF in Jordan, said his $96 million education budget for 2017 is only half funded, and that this jeopardizes programs meant to encourage children to stay in school or re-enroll.Currently, about 52,000 children get cash grants of 20 dinars ($28) a month to help with school transportation and other costs related to education, or to enable boys to quit their jobs. Sbehi is now responsible for supporting the family.
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