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Middle East and North African wars = 13 million children missing out on schooling

All too often it is the innocents who suffer when there is war.   

A UNICEF Report highlights the loss of education children are facing because of the various wars in the Middle East and North Africa.

"Surging conflict and political upheaval across the Middle East and North Africa are preventing more than 13 million children from going to school, according to a UNICEF report released today.

“It’s not just the physical damage being done to schools, but the despair felt by a generation of schoolchildren who see their hopes and futures shattered.”

The report, “Education Under Fire,” focuses on the impact of violence on schoolchildren and education systems in nine countries* that have been directly or indirectly impacted by violence.

Attacks on schools and education infrastructure – sometimes deliberate – are one key reason why many children do not attend classes. In Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya alone, nearly 9,000 schools are out of use because they have been damaged, destroyed, are being used to shelter displaced civilians or have been taken over by parties to the conflict.

Other factors include the fear that drives thousands of teachers to abandon their posts, or keeps parents from sending their children to school because of what might happen to them along the way – or at school itself.

In Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, more than 700,000 Syrian refugee children are unable to attend school because the overburdened national education infrastructure cannot cope with the extra student load.

“The destructive impact of conflict is being felt by children right across the region,” said Peter Salama, Regional Director for UNICEF in the Middle East and North Africa. “It’s not just the physical damage being done to schools, but the despair felt by a generation of schoolchildren who see their hopes and futures shattered.”


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