Drought and conflict shutting down schools in East Africa
In total this year 4.7 million children are at risk of dropping out of school across South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya – displaced from homes and schools because of the dual drivers of hunger: drought and conflict.
Save the Children is urgently appealing for funding to help keep children in school and to take schooling to the children who’ve already been forced to drop out.
The alternative is a lost generation of children who have sacrificed their education in favour of a meal.
Close to 21 million people across South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are currently food insecurev, facing the new year in this state of emergency: their livestock dead or dying; their food stocks long eaten; savings spent and their land parched or inaccessible because of fighting.
That spells a 36% increase over 2017.
More children than ever are out of school.
In Kenya, according to the Ministry of Education, on average three out of ten children are enrolled in school in the drought prone areas of Wajir and Mandera.
David Wright, Regional Director for Save the Children in East and Southern Africa, said: “If 12,000 children drop out of school every single day this year, this region will lose an entire generation of children who not only won’t reach their potential, but will face grave dangers to their health and well-being.
Providing water and vac-cination campaigns during breaks prevents outbreaks of deadly diseases like cholera.
Education in Emergencies funding is critically low and has made up about 2% of the response funding for many humanitarian responses in the region.xi Save the Children recommends a three-point plan to address the impact of drought and conflict on children’s wellbeing in East Africa: Address food insecurity, tackle the growing nutrition crisis and ensure children are able to survive and thrive.