Boko Haram Leaves 3 Million Kids Out Of School In N. Nigeria
Boko Haram’s ongoing insurgency in northern Nigeria has forced the closure of more than 57 percent of schools in Borno state, leaving about 3 million children without an education as the school year begins, the United Nations Children’s Fund said Friday.
"Children in northeast Nigeria are living through so much horror," said Justin Forsyth, UNICEF’s Deputy Executive Director at the end of a three-day visit to Maiduguri, the epicenter of the crisis in the northeast.
"In addition to devastating malnutrition, violence and an outbreak of ch***ra, the attacks on schools is in danger of creating a lost generation of children, threatening their and the country’s future."
Banki, on the border with Cameroon, has been reduced to rubble. The continuing insecurity in the town of some 40,000 refugees means that women gathering firewood from the forest must be accompanied by soldiers, said Forsyth.gov.ukyohaig.ng</a> Kids in Banki sit on floors in thatched buildings with broken blackboards and shards of chalk, he said.
"Even though the first task is to save children’s lives from pneumonia, diarrhea and malnutrition, we also want to make sure children keep learning and get back to school," Forsyth told The Associated Press after visiting Banki Thursday. The border village is about 133 kilometers (83 miles) southeast of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.
"Even in the midst of conflict we need to make sure that children keep learning. It helps them overcome trauma," he said, adding that many children there have been kidnapped and have experienced violence.