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1.8 million South Sudanese children out of school - Unicef

1.8 million South Sudanese children out of school - Unicef

South Sudan

Only one in ten children complete primary school in South Sudan, according to a report by the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

Furthermore, close to two million children are out of school in the war torn country.

Since fighting erupted in Africa’s youngest nation in 2013, 43 percent of primary and 93 percent of secondary school age children have been affected.

Adverse poverty has compounded the situation making the country have some of the worst education indicators in the world.

In order to reverse this situation, UNICEF and its partners have appealed for millions of dollars.

“To provide access to learning opportunities for more than half a million children and adolescents between the ages of 3 and 18, UNICEF and partners will require about 75 million dollars,” said Tizie Maphalala, a UNICEF education specialist.

“The funds will be used to provide learning facilities and education materials to the newly enrolled children in school but also to continue educational services to children in conflict affected areas,” Maphalala added.

More than 300 schools have been closed and many damaged or occupied by armed forces and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Political conflict broke out in December 2013 in the capital of Juba between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebel soldiers aligned with Riek Machar. Tens of thousands have been killed and over 1.5 million people displaced.

South Sudan recently formed a transitional government, a move welcomed by the UN and viewed as an important step for the implementation of a peace agreement.

The report comes at a time when the government is launching a back to school campaign in the country. The campaign is aimed at creating an awareness of the importance of education.

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