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UN: 8 Million Children in Yemen Need Immediate Education Support

UN: 8 Million Children in Yemen Need Immediate Education Support

Thursday, 13 January, 2022 - 09:00
Children attend an open-air class under a tree near their unfinished school on September 16, 2019 in the southwestern Yemeni village of Al-Kashar | AFP

The war in Yemen waged by the Houthi militias has left approximately 8.1 million school-aged girls and boys in need of education in emergencies support.

Of the 8.1 million children, 1.65 million are internally displaced and 1.5 million are living with a disability, said the United Nation’s global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises.

Director of Education Cannot Wait Yasmine Sherif said access to safe learning spaces for Yemeni children and adolescents can save lives and sow the seeds for a more peaceful future.

The ongoing conflict in Yemen, coupled with the impacts of COVID-19 and climate change are putting children and adolescents at severe risks, she stressed.

Education infrastructure in Yemen is in complete and total disrepair, Sherif affirmed in a statement distributed by the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs.

“More than 2,500 schools are reported destroyed, damaged, and/or utilized for non-educational purposes.”

Conflict and continued disruption of schooling across the country and the fragmentation of the education systems have had a profound impact on the learning and overall cognitive and emotional development of nearly all the 10.1 million school-age girls and boys in Yemen.

To make matters worse, two-thirds of teachers in Yemen (over 170,000 teachers) have not received a regular salary for more than four years because of the crisis.

The statement pointed out that girls and boys cannot go to school because an airstrike has destroyed it or because they had to flee their village.

Children must be protected from the devastating consequences of war and be provided with education opportunities so they can build their own, and be part of, Yemen’s future, the statement read.

The New York Education Cannot Wait First Emergency Response funds support the reconstruction and repair of learning centers and water and sanitation facilities in locations in Marib and the West coast areas of Yemen.

According to the statement, the funds also provide immediate and sustained psycho-social support for children, ensure children have quality education materials and enhance coordination to respond to this ongoing crisis.

The funding builds on the impact of a previous $3 emergency response grant delivered in partnership with the Norwegian Refugee Council, which renovated approximately 95 schools and reached over 9,000 children.

The fund announced a new $1.7 million First Emergency Response grant in Yemen. The 18-month grant will be delivered by the Norwegian Refugee Council, reaching approximately 5,500 girls and boys impacted by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

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