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Batoul, a 14-year-old Palestine refugee, has known conflict and war for much of her life.UNRWA provides education to 500,000 Palestinian girls and boys in 692 schools in Gaza, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.At the Istanbul Summit, UNRWA is unveiling a new report whose findings are deeply disturbing. Our study, "Schools on the Frontline," reveals that 44 percent of UNRWA's 692 schools across the Middle East – that's a staggering 302 – have been directly impacted by conflict and violence in the last five years. In Syria over 70 percent of 118 UNRWA schools have at some stage of the war been rendered inoperative, either because they were impacted by violence or because we have used them to house the displaced. Our report is equally bleak about the impact of conflict on UNRWA schools in the occupied Palestinian territory. Eighty-three UNRWA school buildings were damaged during the 2014 Gaza conflict. Ninety UNRWA school buildings were used as designated emergency shelters for almost 300,000 displaced Palestinians including at least 150,000 children. As for Lebanon, periodic outbreaks of violence have forced 36 UNRWA schools to suspend classes for up to a week at a time on different occasions.In Gaza, the majority of our schools for a quarter of a million children reopened within weeks of the 2014 war ending.
Open letter from UNRWA chief to Palestine refugees and UNRWA staff
Palestinians must not be left behind
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