UNICEF: children in conflict zones missing out on education

UNICEF says millions of children out of school in conflict-torn countries

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Girls write on a school desk on a street in Deir al-Zor, eastern Syria, February 23, 2014.

Nearly 24 million children living in countries affected by conflict are missing out on an education, the United Nations children's agency (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.

Out of the 22 conflict-torn nations South Sudan, Niger, Sudan and Afghanistan are the worst-affected countries, according to the agency's analysis.

The report shows that almost one in four of 109.2 million children growing up in conflict zones are missing out on school.

"School equips children with the knowledge and skills they need to rebuild their communities once the conflict is over, and in the short-term it provides them with the stability and structure required to cope with the trauma they have experienced," said UNICEF Chief of Education, Jo Bourne.

"When children are not in school, they are at an increased danger of abuse, exploitation and recruitment into armed groups,"

Bourne added that children out of school risk losing their futures.

"Unable to learn even the basic reading and writing skills, they are at risk of losing their futures and missing out on the opportunity to contribute to their economies and societies when they reach adulthood," he said.

Education is one of the least funded sectors in humanitarian appeals.

In June, the UN cultural agency (UNESCO) said the sector only received 2 percent of humanitarian aid in 2014, as it needs 10 times as much - an additional $2.3 billion – for education in conflict-torn areas.

UNICEF and others have called for a multi-million dollar humanitarian fund for education that can quickly be set up in a conflict, natural disaster or other humanitarian emergency. 

TRTWorld and agencies