War dashes education hopes for millions: UN
KABUL (PAN): Half of the world’s 57 million children out of school live in conflict-affected countries, the UN’s educational agency said on Friday, calling for urgent action on key fronts to address their needs.
Globally, the number of children out of school has fallen from 60 million in 2008 to 57 million in 2011. But the benefits of this slow progress have not reached children in conflict-hit nations.
A new paper launched today by UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report said children in conflict-affected countries made up 50 percent of those who were denied an education -- up from 42 per cent in 2008.
“More than half of those struggling to get an education in conflict-affected countries are women and girls,” said the paper, marking the 16th birthday of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani education activist shot by the Taliban in Oct. 2012.
The day is being commemorated as “Malala Day” and, in her first major public appearance since the incident, she is set to address the UN General Assembly in New York as keynote speaker of the world body's Youth Assembly.
The paper shows 44 percent of the of the 28.5 million children affected live in sub-Saharan Africa, 19 percent in South and West Asia and 14 percent in the Arab states. The vast majority – 95 per cent – live in low and lower-middle income countries.
Girls, who make up 55 per cent of the total, are the worst affected, as they are often victims of rape and other sexual violence that accompanies armed conflicts.
The paper shows the share of humanitarian aid for education has declined from 2 per cent in 2009 to just 1.4 per cent in 2011. It also receives the smallest proportion of the amount requested from humanitarian aid of any sector.
In 2010, of the modest amount requested for education in humanitarian crises, just over a quarter was actually received, leaving a funding gap of around $220 million.
“The decline in humanitarian aid for education is especially bad news because funds are needed more than ever,” said Director of Education For All Global Monitoring Report Pauline Rose.
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