In Yemen, UNICEF ensures that children don’t completely miss out on their education due to the ongoing conflict in the country

UNICEF Yemen/2019/Ahmed Aldobhani

The Challenge

Since the beginning of the conflict in March 2015, attacks on school children, teachers and education infrastructure is 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.

One of the largest challenges has been the lack of civil servant salaries, which has and continues to have a profound effect on the accessibility of education to children in Yemen. Nearly three quarters of public school teachers in 11 governorates have not been paid for over two school years, which has disrupted schooling of around 3.7 million children in these governorates. Through continued advocacy efforts to find a temporary solution, UNICEF succeeded to secure USD 70 million for monthly cash incentives for teachers and school-based staff in Yemen. The contribution is set to facilitate incentives for approximately 135,000 teachers and school-based staff for approximately nine months. In that regard, two payment cycles have been already completed and the third one is under preparation.

As the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate, around 2 million children remain out of school.

UNICEF Yemen/2018
A boy in a classroom in Al-Fath School of Marib governorate.

The Solution

Despite the challenges faced, UNICEF along with its partners in the field succeeded to facilitate access to education for 204,340 children (49.7 per cent girls), through major rehabilitation of 18 affected schools and rehabilitation of latrines in 218 schools (thereby reaching 32 per cent of the target). 

  • In addition, 4,055 teachers, supervisors and social workers received training on psychosocial support benefitting 133,356 students (41.6 per cent girls), or 31 per cent of target. Moreover, 41,907 students (49.08 per cent girls) have received basic learning supplies including school bag kits (9 per cent of target). 
  • In places where formal schools are unavailable, UNICEF has provided community-based classes to reach out-of-school children and community members have been sensitized on the importance of education and their capacity strengthened to facilitate implementation of the intervention, bringing around 7,726 out-of-school-children (44.25 per cent girls) back to school.

Furthermore, the elaboration of a Transitional Education Plan, supported by the Global Partnership for Education, continued to progress in 2018. Teams from both the education authorities met several times with the leadership of UNESCO, which resulted in completion of the assessment of education situation in Yemen. A draft TEP document is pending further consultation.  

In 2019, UNICEF continues to rehabilitate damaged schools, establish temporary safe learning spaces and provide learning/pedagogical kits. Teachers and school-based staff will receive incentives to ensure education for children.

Link to video on it's hosted site.
UNICEF Yemen/2019
Summer camps help children to go back to school.