School Closures Triple In Western, Central Africa Due To Ongoing Violence - UNICEF
Almost two million children have lost access to schools and education across West and Central Africa because of violent attacks and terrorism targeting those institutions, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said in a new report on Friday
"More than 1.9 million children have been forced out of school in West and Central Africa due to an upsurge in attacks and threats of violence against schools, students and teachers across the region," the report said.
By June, 9,272 schools had been forced to shut down in the eight nations of Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Niger and Nigeria as a result of insecurity - three times the number at the end of 2017, the report noted.
The report, "Education Under Threat in West and Central Africa," warns that the attacks are the result of a widespread wave of deliberately targeting schools for violent attacks, generating a pervasive atmosphere of terror, the release said.
"Insecurity spreading across northwest and southwest Cameroon has left more than 4,400 schools forcibly closed in those areas of the country. More than 2,000 schools are closed in Burkina Faso, along with more than 900 in Mali, due to an increase in violence across both countries," the report said.
In the central Sahel, the three nations of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger have experienced a 600 percent rise in schools closing because of attacks and threats of violence in a little more than two years, from around 500 in April 2017 to 3,000 in June 2019,the report added.