According to a United Nations study, the education of 222 million children and adolescents worldwide has been interrupted by multiple crises.
Education can’t wait, the United Nations Global Fund for Education in Emergencies and Protracted Crises has produced a study. When the organization was founded in 2016, the number of crisis-affected children whose education was interrupted was about 75 million.
ECW director Yasmine Sherif says multiple crises over the past six years have increased the number to 222 million in more than 40 countries.
“Conflicts are raging all over the world – we know that, but they are also becoming more and more protracted. and, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sheriff said.
The study found that 78.2 million children worldwide have dropped out of school entirely. Education experts say these children are unlikely to resume their education, which will negatively impact their prospects and ability to earn.
Sheriff says she has traveled to countries where most children are currently out of school and seen what is happening to children in crisis-ridden countries such as Mali, Chad, the Central African Republic and South Sudan.
“When you don’t go to school, you are very much at risk – if you are a boy – of being forcibly recruited into armed groups, terrorist groups, militias, government groups,” she said. “And, if you’re a girl, you’re exposed to gender-based domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking, early marriage and early childbirth.”
The sheriff says the new data should be a wake-up call for all leaders and politicians as more children are left behind due to crises. She says the international community must do more to support their educational needs or it will have far-reaching negative consequences for human and economic development.