Factbox: Schools under fire in war zones

Reuters, May 22, 2016

ISTANBUL (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A new fund which aims to raise more than $3.8 billion for children’s education in war zones and natural disasters has been launched on Monday at the first ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.

Here are some facts about education in crisis:

* Nearly 75 million children living in areas affected by war or natural disaster had their education disrupted last year, leaving them prey to child labor, trafficking and extremism.

* In Syria more than 6,000 schools are out of use – attacked, occupied by the military or taken over as an emergency shelter. 

* In northeast Nigeria and Cameroon, more than 1,800 schools have been shut due to the crisis and in conflict-hit Central African Republic a quarter of schools are not functioning.

* More than 300 schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees have been affected by violence in the last five years.

* An average of four schools or hospitals are attacked or occupied by armed forces and groups every day.

* Attacks against schools and hospitals are one of the six grave violations against children identified and addressed by the U.N. Security Council.

* The latest report of the U.N. Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict documented more than 1,500 incidents of attacks on, or military use of, schools and hospitals in 2014.

* The majority of attacks against schools in 2014 were carried out in the Palestinian territories, followed by Afghanistan, Yemen, South Sudan and Syria.

* Only half of refugee children are in primary school and a quarter of refugee adolescents are in secondary school.

* The ‘Education Cannot Wait’ fund aims to raise $3.85 billion to reach 13.6 million children in need of education in emergencies within five years. It aims to reach 75 million children by 2030. 

* The fund was launched by the U.N. children’s fund (UNICEF), the U.N. Special Envoy for Education Gordon Brown, national governments, the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR), the Global Partnership for Education, and others.

* More than 50 countries have endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration, which declares support for the protection of education in conflict.

Sources: Overseas Development Institute, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNESCO, UNRWA

(Reporting by Alex Whiting, Editing by Ros Russell.; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)