40pc of Afghan children out of school, says UNICEF
Afghanistan is fourth among 22 countries affected by conflict. Nearly 24 million children living in crisis zones are out of school, the UN agency said in a statement.
South Sudan is home to the highest proportion of out-of-school children (51%), Niger is a close second with 47%, followed by Sudan (41%).
Nearly one in four of the 109.2 million children of primary and lower secondary school age living in conflict areas are missing out on education.
UNICEF Chief of Education Jo Bourne said: “Children living in countries affected by conflict have lost their homes, family members, friends, safety and routine…”
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 societies.
"When children are not in school, they are at an increased danger of abuse, exploitation, and recruitment into armed groups," added Jo Bourne.
Education is one of the least funded sectors by humanitarian agencies. In 2014, it received two percent of humanitarian aid. The UN said 10 times as much is needed for education in conflict zones.
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