OVER 400,000 CHILDREN RISK DROPPING OUT OF SCHOOL DUE TO DROUGHT IN SOMALIA

SOMALIA, 5 MAY 2022 - As the drought ravages Somalia, 420,000 children are at risk of dropping out of school as livelihoods are completely wiped out and the students are drawn into the daily struggle of getting food. Of those children, 189,000 are girls who face the risk of retrogressive practices such as early marriage and Female Genital Mutilation. The 231,000 boys risk recruitment into dangerous and illegal activities further jeopardizing not only their lives but also the security situation of the nation.  

According to a recently released United Nations report, over 80 schools were closed in Jubaland and Galmudug states. A further 97 schools in both states are at imminent risk of closure, effectively putting 45,000 students out of class. 

CARE is concerned about the long-term impact of these closures on students in the country. With more than 3 million children out-of-school, Somalia has one of the biggest global populations of out-of-school children. More than two decades of conflict have crippled Somalia’s educational system due to insufficient numbers of qualified teachers, and insufficient resources. This leaves students with few to no options when it comes to learning opportunities.  

"I was so happy going to school,” 14-year-old Aisha is one of the many who had to drop out of school as her family relocated in search of food. “I felt like I had a chance in life. This drought has taken me back from where I was before. I now spend most of my time helping my parents do menial jobs so that we get money for food. I also walk long distances to get water for the family. I wish one day I can join my friends back at school but for now, my focus is on making sure my family survives.” 

Iman Abdullahi, CARE Somalia Country Director says, Our teams are witnessing worrying trends in the schools we support. The number of children dropping out increases daily. Families are now left with no choice but to withdraw their children from school so that they work to support them in getting food and water. Without increased support, we will see all the gains attained in the past decade eroded.”  

Currently, CARE provides monthly incentives to teachers and learning resources to more than 130 schools and supports girls by providing hygiene kits. CARE is working closely with communities and parents through education committees to follow up on children who have dropped out or are at risk. To ensure quality education, it is constructing and rehabilitating schools across the country.   

"The drought has stolen my dreams, I don’t know if I will ever become a doctor as I have always wanted to, I wish for my family to have enough food so that I can go back to school and work on my dreams," says Aisha.  

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About CARE Canada:

Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization working around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice. CARE puts women and girls at the centre of our work because we know we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities. CARE develops solutions alongside women and girls to lift themselves, their families, and communities out of poverty and out of crisis. CARE works in over 100 countries around the world.

To learn more about CARE Canada, visit www.care.ca.