'Despair of a Generation' as Violence Blocks Education for Millions
Even sanctuaries of learning are not spared from the war and upheaval sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, where nearly 14 million children are prevented from attending school both within their home countries and as refugees, a devastating new report from UNICEF finds.
Released Thursday, Education Under Fire (pdf) concludes that the school systems in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Palestine, Sudan, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey are profoundly impacted—either directly or indirectly—by war.
The report comes amid growing outcry at the inhumane treatment of refugees, many of them children, who cross the Mediteranean Sea to Europe in a bid to escape war, violence, and poverty.
Roughly 2.7 million Syrian, 3 million Iraqi, 2 million Libyan, 3.1 million Sudanese, and 2.9 million Yemeni children are currently not receiving their education, bringing the total to 13.7 million, the report concludes.
In many cases this is because direct attacks on schools and related infrastructure make attending classes impossible. Just looking at Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya alone, nearly 9,000 schools are not being used, either because they have sustained too much damaged, are sheltering displaced people, or have been overtaken by combatants.
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