Malala warns of Syria’s education gap

A Syrian girl eats a sandwich as she stands outside her family tent, during the visit of Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, to a Syrian refugee camp in the town of Saadnayel, in the Bekaa valley, east Lebanon, Friday, Jan. 22, 2016.Image copyright

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Nearly half of Syrian children displaced in neighbouring countries are not in school, a new report says

Campaigner Malala Yousufzai has called for more to be done to educate millions of refugee Syrian children displaced within Syria and surrounding countries.

Nearly half the roughly four million children displaced in the region are not in school, according to a new report by the Malala Fund.

They risk becoming a “lost generation”, Ms Yousufzai warned.

The BBC’s Lyse Doucet was given exclusive access to the report ahead of its release on Friday.

Ms Yousufzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban after campaigning for education for girls in Pakistan, has been raising awareness of the lack of education for Syrian refugees.

A growing number of Syrian girls are already teenage brides, or working in farms and factories, our chief international correspondent reports from the Jordanian capital, Jordan.

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Ms Yousufzai (R) listens to a 17-year-old Syrian refugee in Newcastle, UK

According to the report by Ms Yousufzai’s charitable fund, donors have provided only 37% of the money needed to supply resources such as school places and teachers.

It says $1.4bn (£1bn) a year is urgently needed to plug the gap.

Ms Yousufzai has warned that children are being deprived of education at a time when they begin to form into future doctors, teachers, and engineers.

The report comes ahead of next week’s Syria Conference in London, where donors will be asked to pledge that all Syrian refugee children in the region should be in school by the end of the next academic year.

But even Nordic countries, which have been taking the lead on funding, are indicating that they may need to divert money to educate Syrians arriving in their countries.

According to Ms Yousufzai, neighbouring countries are already bearing too much of the cost of educating Syrian refugees.

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