Rights group says millions in Syria school aid goes missing

FILE - In this Thursday, May 29, 2014 file photo, a Syrian refugee girl sits in a classroom at a Lebanese public school where only Syrian students attend classes in the afternoon, at Kaitaa village in north Lebanon. A new report by Human Rights Watch said Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 that millions of dollars of school aid for Syrian refugee children went unaccounted for last school year, leaving schools across the region understaffed and contributing to a massive under-enrollment of Syrian school children. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

Hussein Malla

BEIRUT (AP) — Human Rights Watch says millions of dollars of school aid for Syrian refugees went unaccounted for last year, leaving schools across the region understaffed and contributing to a massive under-enrollment of Syrian children.

The New York-based group says more than a half million school-age refugees were out of school last year, in part because of the severe funding shortfalls in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. There are at least 1.6 million Syrian children refugees in the region.

The U.S. government aid agency USAID, for example, reported it had given $248 million in school aid to Jordan last year, but Jordan's government only reported receiving $13 million. A separate USAID database only tracked $82 million in disbursements that year.

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