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More Than 1 Million Syrian Children Are Refugees



From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report.

The United Nations is warning that Syrian children are suffering because of the country's nearly three year-long conflict. It says many children have developed emotional problems, are separated from their parents and are not in school. The United Nations says more than one million Syrian children are registered with its refugee agency, the UNHCR. Most of these boys and girls now live in Lebanon and Jordan. The children may have escaped from the fighting, but they continue to suffer the effects of war.

In a new report, the UN agency says 75 percent of the 1.1 million Syrian children listed as refugees are under the age of 12. The agency is urging international donors to increase financial support to refugee families. The UN report noted efforts to keep Syrian refugee children in school. But as of September 2013, it said, more than 100,000 of those in Jordan were not attending classes. And it said twice that number could be out of school in Lebanon by the end of 2013. Many children, especially boys, are out of school because their families need them for work.

Brian Hansford is a spokesman for the UNHCR. He says the report found that 10 percent of Syrian refugee children in the area are working. Some jobs require working in dangerous conditions for many hours. Mr. Hansford notes that babies born in Syria are not registered if their families fled the country, or if they were born in Lebanon or Jordan. The lack of a birth record can create problems for these children later in life. The UN report says more than 70,000 Syrian refugee families live without fathers. And nearly 4,000 refugee children are separated from both parents.