27,000 schools remain inaccessible due to devastating floods: UNICEF.

ISLAMABAD -- Schools for more than 2 million children in Pakistan remain completely inaccessible after the most severe flooding in the country's history destroyed or damaged nearly 27,000 schools in the country.

'Almost overnight, millions of Pakistan's children lost family members, homes, safety, and their education, under the most traumatic circumstances,' said UNICEF's Global Director of Education Robert Jenkins, upon returning from flood-affected areas in Pakistan.

'Now, faced with the uncertainty of when they'll be able to return to school, and having already endured some of the world's longest school closures due to the pandemic, they are experiencing yet another threat to their future.'

More than two months since the devastating floods engulfed large areas of Pakistan, the tops of school buildings are only just becoming visible in some of the flood-hit areas. It is estimated that it will be weeks, even months before the flood waters completely subside, said a UNICEF press release issued on Thursday.

In addition to places of learning, schools are critical in providing children with access to healthcare, psychosocial support, and immunization. The longer schools remain closed, the greater the risk of children dropping out altogether, increasing their likelihood of being forced into child labor and child marriage, and exposure to other forms of exploitation and abuse. Many of the hardest-hit districts were already among the most vulnerable communities in Pakistan.

Before the current emergency, one-third of boys and girls in flood-affected areas...

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