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Over 13.5 million children can’t go to school because of wars in the Arab world


The heartbreaking image of three-year old Aylan Kurdi lying face down washed up on a Turkish beach has triggered an international foreign policy re-examination of the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa

Over 13.5 million Arab children have also had their futures thrown into jeopardy over the past four years because they cannot go to schools according to a new report entitled Education under Fire. Across nine countries in the region, UNICEF researchers found that nearly 9,000 schools are out of operation because of political instability and intractable armed violence.

“A lot of the schools are out of use because as they are sheltering displaced families fleeing from conflicts. Sometimes up to nine families are sharing a classroom. This is because a lack of alternatives when it comes to refuges,” says Juliette Touma, UNICEF spokesperson in the Middle East & North Africa.

Touma also noted that schools have been actual targets of armed strikes where children and adults have died on site, most graphically exhibited in Gaza last summer where one UNRWA school was shelled by Israeli strikes killing 15 and wounding 200.

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