Malala Yousafzai Nobel Peace Prize
Malala Yousafzai is to donate her prize money to schools damaged by Israel in the Gaza conflictReuters

Nobel Prize-winning education activist Malala Yousafzai has announced she is to donate the $50,000 (£31,000) prize money she received for winning the World's Children's Prize to the reconstruction of UN schools bombared by Israel in the recent Gaza conflict.

The Pakistani teenager, who was shot in the head by the Taliban for speaking out about women's right to an education, said the prize money would be used on 65 schools for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) that were damaged in the conflict between Israel and Islamist faction Hamas.

"Innocent Palestinian children have suffered terribly and for too long," Malala said.

"We must all work to ensure Palestinian boys and girls, and all children everywhere, receive a quality education in a safe environment. Because without education, there will never be peace. Let us stand together for peace and education because together we are more powerful."

The commissioner general of UNRWA, Pierre Krahenbuhl, said the gesture from someone who has "campaigned so valiantly for the essential right of a child to receive an education" would provide a boost to the quarter of a million people who use the schools and the 9,000-strong teaching staff.

"UNRWA shares with you the profound belief in the importance of education as a means to lift young girls and boys out of isolation, exclusion or oppression," Krahenbuhl said.

"Acquiring skills and knowledge to improve prospects for the future is profoundly engrained in the Palestinian consciousness."

Malala shared her Nobel Peace Prize award with Kailash Satyarthi, a child human rights activist based in India.

The award was handed to the pair "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education," said Thorbjørn Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

"Despite her youth, Malala has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations."

In the seven-week Gaza conflict, over 2,100 Palestinians - mostly civilians - lost their lives. All but five of the 68 Israeli fatalities were soldiers.