AMMAN – Forty percent of children from five conflict-scarred Middle Eastern countries are not attending school, the United Nations agency for children said Thursday, warning that losing this generation will lead to more militancy, migration and a dim future for the region.
An estimated 13.7 million school age children from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Sudan are not in school, out of a total of 34 million, UNICEF said. The dropout rate could increase to 50 percent in coming months as conflicts intensify, Peter Salama, the agency’s regional chief, told The Associated Press. “We are on the verge of losing a generation of children in this region,” he said. “We must act now or we will certainly regret the consequences.”