Almost 24 million children living in conflict zones, or about one in four, are out of school, including half of South Sudan's children, UNICEF said Tuesday.
The UN agency said that about one-quarter of the 109 million children ages six to 15 living in 22 countries ravaged by conflicts were missing out on an education, which will further deprive them of economic opportunities in the future.
The situation is most worrying in South Sudan, where 51 per cent of children don't attend school. In Niger, the figure stands at 47 per cent, followed by Sudan with 41 per cent and Afghanistan with 40 per cent.
"Children living in countries affected by conflict have lost their homes, family members, friends, safety and routine," said Jo Bourne, UNICEF's chief of education.
"Now, unable to learn even the basic reading and writing skills, they are at risk of losing their futures and missing out on the opportunity to contribute to their economies and societies when they reach adulthood."