AfricaHuman Rights

30 million children missing school in Africa


Two United Nations agencies say about 30 million elementary school children in Sub-Saharan Africa do not go to school because of poverty and the conflicts prevailing in the continent.

The new figure was revealed in two reports published by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the world body’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Tuesday.

According to the UNESCO statistics, some 19 million children are missing primary school in West and Central Africa, while another 10 million are out of school in the southern and eastern parts of the continent.

The reports by the UNICEF and UNESCO said children are living in dire conditions particularly in West and Central Africa. The global financial crisis and the violent conflicts in the African continent have also hampered efforts to get the kids back to school, added the reports.

Yumiko Yokozeki, an education advisor for UNICEF, said many schools are closed in the violence-hit countries such as the Central African Republic, Nigeria and Mali or it is too dangerous for the kids to reach their classes.

In late April, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said about five million children in Africa’s Sahel belt face the risk of severe malnutrition, stressing that aid operations need urgent funding in the region.

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