File Photo: A displaced Syrian child eats a bowl of rice at a refugee camp in Syria's northeastern Hassakeh province on Feb. 26, 2018. (Xinhua/AFP)
UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- A child's "real passport" to the future -- education -- should be stamped in the classroom, not at a border checkpoint, UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown said on Tuesday, urging funding for conflict-affected children.
"Ninety-nine percent of the world's young refugees who are now becoming the invisible generation will never get a place in college or higher education, and only 20 percent will get a secondary education," Brown warned when speaking to journalists at UN headquarters in New York.
"It's time the world woke up to the horror of so many children devoid of hope," he added.
The special envoy noted ensuring that the world's children have a place in school classroom is essential to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4, which entails quality education for all by 2030.
There are perhaps 75 million children caught in conflict, he said, appealing for new funding for more than 30 million displaced and refugee young people.
On a positive note, the former British prime minister announced that the Education Cannot Wait fund, a global fund set up in 2016 to ensure that no child or young person misses out on education during crises, will launch on Thursday a program for safe and reliable education for half a million children in Afghanistan, including more than 320,000 girls.
He also noted the success of double-shift schools in Lebanon, saying that of the 400,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon now in school, almost 300,000 are in double-shift schools.
"They get their education in the afternoon, in Arabic, after the Lebanese children get their education in the morning in English and French, in the same classroom. It just proves that it is possible to use the existent education system already in place to provide schooling for children," Brown said.
The special envoy also announced the launch of the International Finance Facility for Education which will serve 700 million children living in low- and middle-income countries where the majority of out-of-school and displaced children reside.
"The facility is advancing rapidly with a high-level event scheduled in April where prospective donors are expected to agree to constitute the new 10-billion-U.S. dollars fund this year," Brown added.