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Boko Haram attacks uproot 1.4 million children in five months: UNICEF

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By NewsGram Staff-Writer

United Nations: According to UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), around half a million children have been uprooted over the last five months due to a sharp increase in the attacks carried by Boko Haram.

Photo Credit: http://www.wikiprogress.org
Photo Credit: http://www.wikiprogress.org

In northern Nigeria alone, 1.2 million children, more than half of them under 5, have been forced to flee their homes, Xinhua quoted UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric as saying on Friday.

Dujarric added that an additional 265,000 children were uprooted from Cameroon, Chad, and Niger.

“Together with governments and partners in all four impacted countries, UNICEF has scaled up its operations,” he said.

More than 315,000 children have been vaccinated against measles. More than 200,000 people received access to safe water. Some 65,000 displaced and refugee children  had access to education and were able to continue learning thanks to the delivery of school materials.

UNICEF added that with more refugees and not enough resources, its ability to deliver lifesaving assistance on the ground is now seriously compromised.

The UN agency’s work in the West Africa region is almost 70 percent underfunded, having received only 32 percent of the $50.3 million needed for humanitarian efforts in 2015.

Because of this, more than 124,000 children in the conflict-torn area have not received measles vaccinations, more than 83,000 lack access to safe water, and over 208,000 are not in school.

(With inputs from IANS)

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UNICEF: ‘Education Under Fire’, Militant Attacks on Afghan Schools Tripled in 2018

More than 1,000 schools across the country remain closed because of security threats from groups

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UNICEF, Education, Afghan Schools
In this April 5, 2017 photo, Afghan students attend school classes in an open air primary school on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. VOA

Attacks on schools in Afghanistan increased almost threefold last year, making it increasingly difficult to ensure an education for children in many parts of the country, the United Nations children’s fund UNICEF said on Tuesday.

The agency, which promotes education and children’s rights, said the number of attacks against Afghan schools jumped from 68 in 2017 to 192 last year. It was the first time since 2015 that a rise in attacks had been recorded.

“Education is under fire in Afghanistan,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “The senseless attacks on schools; the killing, injury and abduction of teachers; and the threats against education are destroying the hopes and dreams of an entire generation of children.”

More than 1,000 schools across the country remain closed because of security threats from groups such as the Taliban and Islamic State, which have sought soft targets for attacks aimed at extending and consolidating their influence through intimidation.

UNICEF, Education, Afghan Schools
Attacks on schools in Afghanistan increased almost threefold last year. Pixabay

Although the Taliban have shifted from their previous opposition to all forms of girls’ education, they have faced regular accusations of shutting down schools run in a way they do not approve.

UNICEF said the use of school buildings as voter centers during last year’s parliamentary election may have been a factor behind the rise in attacks.

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Afghanistan has a young and fast-growing population but about 3.7 million children, or nearly half of all school-age children, are not in formal education, UNICEF said. (VOA)