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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Beyond the Headlines podcast: How Unicef is helping Middle Eastern children

The plight of children in the region is the focus of this week's episode

Students in Aden City, Yemen, carry Unicef backpacks into their drawing class. Nearly half a million children have dropped out of school since the 2015 escalation of conflict in Yemen. Unicef photo
Students in Aden City, Yemen, carry Unicef backpacks into their drawing class. Nearly half a million children have dropped out of school since the 2015 escalation of conflict in Yemen. Unicef photo

Children in the Middle East face more challenges than almost anywhere else in the world. One in four children in the region are affected by poverty, and in 2017, more than 1,823 children were killed, up from 1,563 in 2016.

Armed conflict, instability and the failure of governments to provide education are all factors that have driven 5.7 million children to be out of primary school and another 3.9 million out of secondary.

However, organisations like Unicef have maintained that they can help solve the problem through simple solutions. We discuss some of those solutions in this week's episode of Beyond the Headlines.

Listen here:

This year, the UN organisation spent more than half of its global humanitarian budget in this Middle East and North Africa. The situation is dire, but a lot can still be done.

Geert Cappalaere, Unicef's regional director, tells The National's Naser Al Wasmi what can be done to give the region's 29 million children brighter futures.

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