Unrest endangers education of 2.5mn Syria children

Unrest endangers education of 2.5mn Syria children
Fri Jul 12, 2013 09:45:02

The two-year-long unrest in Syria has jeopardized the education of 2.5 million children, Save the Children aid agency says.

Over the past year, the Syrian crisis contributed to a dramatic rise in the number of violent incidents affecting children's education worldwide, the UK-based aid agency said in a report issued on Friday.

The agency said that over 70 percent of 3,600 such incidents in 2012 took place in Syria.

It added that school buildings were bombed, teachers came under violent attacks and children were recruited by armed groups.

The agency stated that the violence destroyed or rendered unusable some 3,900 schools across Syria by January 2013.

"But more recent estimates in April show a very rapid increase in this number, with 22 percent of the country's 22,000 schools rendered unusable," it said.

"The combined effects of conflict have jeopardized the education of 2.5 million school-age children and young people."

Save the Children Chief Executive Jasmine Whitbread said in a statement attached with the report, "The classroom should be a place of safety and security, not battlegrounds where children suffer the most appalling crimes. Children who are targeted in this way will be paying the price for the rest of their lives."

On June 30, Syria’s Local Administration Minister Omar al-Ibrahim Ghalaounji said that more than two years of foreign-sponsored terrorism in the country has damaged about 9,000 state buildings and cost $15 billion in losses to the public sector.

Ghalaounji said in comments published in Syrian newspapers that the damage worth of $15 billion to the public sector was caused between March 2011 and March 2013.

He added that the damage was the result of "terrorist attacks on government buildings and infrastructure."

Former Syrian Planning Minister Abdullah al-Dardari has recently said that the Syrian crisis has cost $60-$80 billion in damages to the country’s economy.

He stated that the Syrian economy has contracted by about 35 percent, compared to the 6 percent annual growth the country enjoyed in the five years before 2011.

According to Dardari, Syria’s economy has lost about 40 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), and there are some 2.5 million unemployed people in the country today.

Syria crisis started in 2011 when pro-reform protests turned to a massive insurgency following the intervention of western and regional states.

The unrest which took in numerous terrorist groups from all over Europe and the Middle East is going to become one of the bloodiest wars in the recent history.

The war, which many fear is turning to a “war of hatred”, has already taken thousands of lives.

Several international human rights organizations have said that the militants operating in Syria are committing war crimes.


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