Funding shortfalls threaten education for millions of children: UNICEF

1101

UNITED NATIONS, July 7 (APP): Funding shortfalls are
threatening education for millions of children caught up in
conflicts or disasters, UNICEF said Thursday ahead of the G20
summit in Hamburg.
Of the $932 million needed this year for its education
programmes in emergency countries, UNICEF said it has so far
received recorded voluntary contributions of less than $115
million.
The funds are necessary to give 9.2 million children
affected by humanitarian crises access to formal and
non-formal basic education, the agency said.
“Without education, children grow up without the knowledge
and skills they need to contribute to the peace and the
development of their countries and economies, aggravating an
already desperate situation for millions of children,” Muzoon
Almellehan, UNICEF’s latest and youngest – Goodwill Ambassador,
speaking from Hamburg, Germany, where she is representing UNICEF
at the G20 Summit.
“For the millions of children growing up in war zones, the
threats are even more daunting: Not going to school leaves
children vulnerable to early marriage, child labour and
recruitment by armed forces.”
Funding gaps for UNICEF education programmes in some of the
world’s hot spots vary from 36 per cent in Iraq, to 64 per cent
in Syria, 74 per cent in Yemen and 78 per cent in the Central
African Republic, it said.
Pursuing educational opportunities has been cited as one of
the push factors leading families and children to flee their
homes, often at great risk to their lives. A survey of refugee
and migrant children in Italy revealed that 38 per cent of
them headed to Europe to gain access to learning opportunities.
A similar survey in Greece showed that one in three parents
or caretakers said that seeking education for their children was
the main reason they left their countries for Europe.
For children who have experienced the trauma of war and
displacement, education can be life-saving.
“When I fled Syria in 2013, I was terrified I would never be
able to return to school. But when I arrived in Jordan and
realized there was a school in the camp, I was relieved and
hopeful,” Muzoon was quoted as saying. “School gives children
like me a lifeline and the chance of a peaceful and positive
future.”
As an education activist and Syrian refugee, Muzoon joins
forces with UNICEF to speak out on behalf of the millions of
children who have been uprooted by conflict and are missing
out on school.
“I urge world leaders to invest in the futures of children
living in emergencies — and by doing so invest in the future of
our world,” Muzoon said.