ANKARA

Heavy floods because of climate change in sub-Sahara Africa have forced thousands of children from school or caused a delay to the start of the academic year, according to a NGO on Friday.    

Save the Children urged governments “to step up repair work on schools and provide temporary classrooms for children who had to flee so that they do not fall behind even further following the devastating impact of COVID-19 on their education” 

Floods have left families and children displaced and left classrooms destroyed. 

“Governments also urgently need to set up alternative shelter for families who have taken refuge in schools,” it said. 

Several regional nations are prone to flooding, but the NGO said it is seeing more frequent and deadly flooding. 

“It’s vital that governments, with national and international partners, increase funding to ensure that children have access to the right distance-learning,” said Eric Hazard, the group’s Pan African advocacy director, in the report. 

Before the COVID-19 crisis, sub-Sahara Africa, according to the report, already had the highest number of students excluded from education, “with more than one-fifth of children aged 6-11 years out of school.”

The coronavirus pandemic has already left more than 262 million children out of lessons in Africa, it said. 

“Children out of school are at greater risk of being abused and exploited or recruited into child labour or, by force, into armed groups,” the report said. 

Climate change and environmental threats forces 37.5 million children to have their education interrupted every year, hindering them from going to schools. “Owing to COVID-19, these numbers will only rise,” the report said.

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