As many as 21 million children across the Middle East and North Africa are at risk of missing out on an education according to the United Nations.
12.3 million children and adolescents are already out of school, with a further six million at risk of dropping out.
However, those figures do not include the three million children forced out of school by the ongoing wars in Syria and Iraq. At least one in five schools in Syria has been destroyed by the fighting.
In March 2015 the U.N. published a video entitled You Know Me about children in MENA region who are not in school.
Maria Calivis, Regional Director for UNICEF MENA: “At a time of such change and turmoil, this region simply cannot afford to let 21 million children fall by the wayside, These children must be given the opportunity to acquire the skills they need through education in order to play their part in the region’s transformation.”
Over the last decade there has been a 40% decrease in the number of out of school children. But the conflicts now raging across the region have seriously jeopardized efforts to improve educational standards.
In response the U.N. has unveiled a Middle East and North Africa Out of School Children Initiative to address the urgent needs of the millions of children suffering from a lack of education.