unicef cites risk of lost generation of syrian refugee children in turkey


UNICEF cites risk of ‘lost generation’ of Syrian refugee children in Turkey


Syrian refugee children. File photo

Geneva (UN) – More than 40 per cent of Syrian refugee children in Turkey are missing out on education, despite a sharp increase in enrolment rates, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Thursday.

“Unless more resources are provided, there is still a very real risk of a ‘lost generation’ of Syrian children, deprived of the skills they will one day need to rebuild their country,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth, speaking after a visit to southern Turkey.

According to UNICEF, nearly half a million Syrian refugee children are currently enrolled in schools across Turkey. But over 40 per cent of children of school-going age – or 380,000 child refugees – are still missing out on an education, despite a more than 50 per cent increase in enrolment since last June.

“For the first time since the start of the Syrian crisis, there are more Syrian children in Turkey attending class than there are out of school,” said Mr Forsyth. “Turkey should be commended for this huge achievement.”

More than 1.2 million child refugees are sheltered in Turkey, making it the top child refugee hosting country in the world.

“Since 2013, UNICEF has helped build, renovate or refurnish nearly 400 schools, and trained some 20,000 Syrian volunteer teachers,” the agency said. “Approximately 13,000 teachers receive monthly incentives.”

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