Nearly 180,000 Syrian babies born in Turkey

Ankara, Jan 20 (IANS/AKI) Nearly 180,000 Syrian babies have been born to refugee families in Turkey since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, state-run news agency Anadolu said on Thursday, quoting government figures.

Turkey is hosting three million Syrian refugees — the most in the world — and over one million are children — said Andadolu, citing Turkish Health Ministry data.

The country has spend $25 billion providing the Syrian refugees with accommodation, healthcare, education and other services, Anadolu said.

Currently close to half a million Syrian children in Turkey are attending school, but nearly 400,000 — over 40 per cent — of children of school-going age are not in education, the United Nations refugee agency said on Thursday.

Despite the “huge achievement” of an increase of over 50 per cent in enrolment since June, UNHCR’s Deputy Executive Director warned of risk of a “lost generation”.

“Unless more resources are provided, there is still a very real risk of a ‘lost generation’ of Syrian children, deprived of the skills they will one day need to rebuild their country,” Justin Forsyth said in a statement.

–IANS/AKI

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