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UNICEF: 40% of Syrian children in Turkey not in school

News - Middle East

Risk of 'lost generation' as UN agency says 380,000 Syrian child refugees miss formal education at present in Turkey.

Around 380,000 Syrian children of school-going age are missing out on education in Turkey, raising the risk of a "lost generation", according to the UN children's fund (UNICEF).

More than 40 percent of Syrian child refugees in Turkey are not in education at present, the agency said in a statement on Thursday.    

Justin Forsyth, UNICEF's deputy executive director, praised Ankara for enrolling 50 percent of Syrian child refugees since June, but said more needed to be done.

"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," Forsyth added.

He was speaking after a visit to southern Turkey where hundreds of thousands of Syrians live in cities and inside camps.

Ankara says close to half a million Syrian children out of 1.2 million in Turkey are enrolled in its schools.

There are 2.7 million Syrian refugees in the country, according to UNICEF. Across the region, a total of 2.7 million Syrian children, most of them inside the war-ravaged country. 

Nearly 180,000 babies were born to Syrian refugees in Turkey between April 2011 and September 2016, Turkey's health ministry said on Thursday, according to state-run Anadolu news agency.

Earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said skilled Syrian and Iraqi refugees currently working in the black economy would be granted citizenship if they pass security tests.

The conflict in Syria has killed more than 310,000 people since it began with anti-government protests in March 2011. 

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