In Yemen, UNICEF ensures that children don’t completely miss out on their education due to the ongoing conflict in the country
Since the beginning of the conflict in March 2015, attacks on school children, teachers and education infrastructure are having a devastating impact on the country’s education system – and on the chances of millions of children to access learning.
The damage and closure of schools are threatening children's access to education, rendering them vulnerable to serious protection concerns.
Conflict and continued disruption of schooling across the country and the fragmentation of the nearly collapsing education system have had a profound impact on the learning and overall cognitive and emotional development, and the mental health of all the 10.6 million school-age boys and girls in Yemen. 7 years into the conflict, 2,916 (at least one in four) schools were destroyed, partially damaged or utilized for non-educational purposes. Structured learning is further hindered by two-third of teachers – nearly 172,0000 – that were irregularly paid since 2016 or dropped out seeking other income generation activities. The COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to close for much ofthe 2019-2021 school years, disrupting the education of nearly 5.8 million students—including 2.5 million girls. Twomillion children were out of school before COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple displacement, distant schools, safety and security including explosive hazards, lack of female teachers (80% male) and gender-sensitive and accessible WASH facilities are drivers to increased vulnerabilities. Dropout among girls is risking early marriage and domestic violence, while boys are at a higher risk of being recruited into armed groups.
As the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate, around 2 million children remain out of school.
In 2021, UNICEF’s education activities focused was on supporting children to continue learning and aimed at strengthening the humanitarian-development nexus, equally targeting boys and girls.
- Despite the challenges faced, UNICEF provided over 209,000 children with individual learning materials and more than half a million (567,000) children have access to formal and non-formal education, including early learning and support to National Exams. 229 schools implementing safe school protocols (infection prevention and control).
- As part of the emergency response for IDP children, a nationwide Education in Emergencies (EiE) programme was rolled out in the last quarter of 2021 targeting 40,000 out-of-school children (60 per cent girls) with education and child protection services, with a particular focus on children in Ma’rib.
UNICEF’s total HAC appeal for the Education programming in 2021 is US$55.4 million. Urgent needs total US$3 million.