Violence and attacks against civilian populations in the North-East of Nigeria and its neighbouring countries have forced “a staggering” one million children out of school, UNICEF says.
According to a UNICEF report on Tuesday, the violent attacks has dealt a huge blow on education in the region.
It said across Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, over 2,000 schools remain closed, some schools for more than a year, due to the conflict.
It further said that hundreds had been attacked, looted or set on fire.
UNICEF said that in North Cameroon, only one out of the 135 schools closed in 2014 re-opened this year.
UNICEF also reported that the number of children missing out on their education due to the conflict added to the estimated 11 million children of primary school age who were already out of school in the four countries before the onset of the crisis.
In Nigeria alone, approximately 600 teachers have been killed since the start of the Boko Haram insurgency, the report said.
The UN agency said it had supported 170,000 children back into education in the safer areas of the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe affected by the conflict, where majority of schools had re-opened.
It added that so far, the agency had received 44 per cent of the funding required in 2015 to respond to the humanitarian needs of children in Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad.
UNICEF said in 2016, it would need nearly 23 million dollars to provide access to education for children affected by conflicts in the four countries, most of whom live around the Lake Chad region.
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon had urged the international community to provide urgent support for humanitarian aid to communities hit by Boko Haram.
He further urged the international community to provide urgent support for humanitarian assistance and early recovery as a way to mitigate the impact on the affected populations.