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U.N. highlights plight of Syrian children

More than two million Syrian children are out of school due to the ongoing conflict

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More than two million Syrian children have not been receiving education due to the ongoing conflict in the war-torn country, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said Friday.

During a U.N. session about children in armed conflicts, Ban said many of the schools in Syria have been damaged during the three-year conflict or have been used as shelter for families escaping their homes.

“More than two and a quarter million (Syrian) children are out of school,” Ban said, in comments carried by Agence France-Presse.

“In too many war zones around the world, schools and hospitals have been targeted or caught in cross-fire.”

No longer functioning

He added that one in five public hospitals in Syria have also stopped functioning due to the war that has killed more than 140,000 people since March 2011.

“The killing and maiming of children and attacks on schools and hospitals continue unabated and children are recruited and used by various armed groups,” Leila Zerrougui, Ban's special representative for children and armed conflict, told the council.

“We cannot afford a lost generation in Syria,” she said.

The ongoing Syrian war is causing a humanitarian crisis in the country, with the U.N. last month calling on the government to allow for aid access into besieged areas.

Since the start of 2014, UNICEF has so far raised around 10 percent of its $800 million target to help Syrian children inside and outside the country.