Long-running conflicts are keeping more than 25 million children around the world away from classrooms.
Around 22% of children aged between six and 15 are out of school across 22 conflict-ridden countries, according to UNICEF. Some of the worst affected countries are in Africa.
South Sudan had more than two-thirds of children in the country currently missing out on primary school education, the highest rate anywhere. South Sudan has been mired in conflict for much of the past four years with ethnic-driven violence. United Nations has now issued a formal famine declaration in parts of the country. Over a quarter of a million children are severely malnourished despite South Sudan receiving billions of dollars in aid.
For children in secondary schools, the situation is just as dire as the three top countries with the highest rates for out-of-school kids are all in Africa. Niger, with the highest rates globally, has been drawn into the Boko Haram-led insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin.
To solve the problem, UNICEF says it needs $8.5 billion to shore up the annual gap in funding. Since 2010, less than 2% of the world’s humanitarian funding has been spent on education, the agency says.