Education activist Malala Yousafzai is calling for education funding for the children scattered across the world by the Syrian civil war. The 18-year old Nobel Prize winner is calling on world leaders to put $1.4 billion USD towards educating the estimated 700,000 Syrian children living in refugee camps around the Middle East.
“I have met so many Syrian refugee children, they are still in my mind. I can’t forget them. The thought that they won’t be able to go to school in their whole life is completely shocking and I cannot accept it,” Malala told Reuters.
Malala will join World leaders in London on February 4th for the “Supporting Syria and the region” conference, which hopes to raise humanitarian aid funds for victims of the ongoing Syrian civil war.
“I’m hoping to encourage and inspire world leaders to take action. I’m not going to wait. We can’t wait, it needs to happen.”
The conference is an opportunity to gather international funding for a wide range of problems facing Syria’s refugees. The 700,000 children in camps around the Middle East are only part of the problem, with millions more refugees struggling in Europe. Overall the UN-backed conference aims to raise about $8 billion USD from donor nations. Malala’s focus at the event will be on the children in need.
“We can still help them, we can still protect them,” said Malala. “They are not lost yet. They need schools. They need books. They need teachers. This is the way we can protect the future of Syria."