Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the UN global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises has announced a first emergency response grant worth 5 million U.S. dollars for Somali children affected by a devastating ongoing drought along with renewed conflicts over scarce resources.
The 12-month grant will be delivered by Care International in coordination with the UN Children’s Fund and other local strategic partners.
The investment will reach 43,000 children and adolescents who are out of school or at risk of dropping out as a result of the four-year drought, which has pushed 2.9 million people from their homes and raised the specter of famine for people in Somalia and across the Horn of Africa, said the ECW.
The drought in the Horn of Africa is considered one of the worst climate change-related disasters of the past 40 years.
In Somalia, 3.1 million children and adolescents are affected by the drought, including more than 400,000 newly displaced school-aged children.
The drought has triggered conflicts over access to food, water and livelihoods, it said.
With 4.2 million children already out of school in Somalia and an additional 900,000 at risk of dropping out, girls and boys are at grave risk of gender-based violence and child marriage, hunger, malnutrition and starvation, recruitment into armed groups, child labor and other violations of their human rights, said the ECW.
“The climate crisis is an education crisis. We must come together as a global community to ensure the girls and boys of Somalia are offered the safety, protection and opportunity that a quality education provides,” said ECW Director Yasmine Sherif.
“It’s our investment in a long-term solution to the food crisis and the climate crisis, and it’s our investment in improved economic and social security for the 10 million children in urgent need of support across the Horn of Africa,” she said.