NEW YORK/Athens - In an op-ed for Time magazine, Pakistani education activist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai said the world's response to refugees fleeing Syria "has been pitiful."

"Only 37 percent of the UN's response plan for this year has been funded and more than 63 percent of funding needs are unmet," she added. "Food rations for refugees are being cut because nations will not contribute their fair share to help. Entire refugee camps have only one or two schools for children. If we say we care, we must not just use words, but take action."

The UN estimates that at least 11 million Syrians have been displaced due to the raging civil war, with more than 7 million inside Syria and 4 million outside the country. "Syria's refugees have committed no crime that justifies their suffering," Malala wrote. "They are doing what anyone would do if their home were no longer safe."

Malala wrote, "After seeing the small body of Aylan Kurdi washed ashore in Turkey, I have prayed every day that his death will not be in vain. I have been asking myself: Is this the moment that our politicians will finally see that the children of Syria are the same as any other children? Will they finally acknowledge that people fleeing conflict have the right to be protected?

"Syria’s refugees have committed no crime that justifies their suffering. They are doing what anyone would do if their home were no longer safe. I myself know what it is to have to leave your home, when my family was forced to leave our home in Swat Valley because of conflict and terrorism in 2009. We lived for three months as internally displaced people (IDPs). "I know very well how hard it is to live like that, and how desperate is the desire of parents to find a safe place for their children to call home," she added. Although she is "distressed" that more isn't being done to help Syrian refugees , Malala  said she is moved by people greeting refugees at train stations, and hopes other governments follow German Chancellor Angela Merkel's lead and allow refugees to settle in their countries and apply for asylum.

Separately, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation said Sunday that United Nations should consider a peacekeeping force for war-ravaged Syria to help curb the surge of refugees which is destabilising the region and beyond.

An emergency meeting of the 57-member group called on the UN Security Council to urgently consider creating "a multi-dimensional UN peacekeeping operation in Syria as a prelude to restoring security and stability in the country".

It also called for more to be done to find a rapid political solution to the Syrian conflict. The OIC blamed the humanitarian crisis on "the war crimes committed by the regime in Syria".

"The meeting stressed the common responsibility of all nations, particularly OIC member states, to open their doors to the Syrian refugees as a mark of Islamic compassion and solidarity," a closing statement from the meeting said.

In the meantime, at least 34 people, among them 15 babies and children, drowned when their overcrowded boat capsized in high winds off a Greek island on Sunday, the latest migrant tragedy at sea.

The latest deaths came as Athens angrily defended its handling of the mounting refugee crisis in Europe and appealed for more help.