Boko Haram violence shutters 57 per cent of schools in Borno State, Nigeria

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Children attend class in a UNICEF-sponsored school in Dikwa, Borno state, Nigeria. Boko Haram captured Dikwa in 2014 and the Nigerian army liberated it in February 2016. UNICEF/Naftalin (file)

The Boko Haram insurgency in northeast Nigeria has led to the closure of more than half of the schools in the worst-hit state there, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) reported on Friday.

The crisis means that three million children also require emergency education support as the school year begins.

Dianne Penn reports.

Borno State is the epicentre of the Boko Haram crisis and 50 per cent of schools there remain shuttered due to the violence, according to UNICEF.

Nearly 3,000 teachers there have been killed in the past eight years, and 19,000 more have been displaced.

Additionally, almost 1,400 schools have been destroyed and most are unable to reopen, either because of damage or because the areas they are in are still unsafe.

UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth has just concluded a three-day visit to the region.

He said the violence, combined with "devastating" malnutrition and a cholera outbreak, could create a "lost generation" of children.

The UN agency and its partners have been responding to the needs.

They have established over 350 temporary learning spaces in the three most-affected states in north-east Nigeria, and enrolled roughly 750,000 children in school this year.

They are also working to rehabilitate schools and classrooms, and to train teachers.

However, UNICEF reported that its emergency programmes in the region remain underfunded.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'08"

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