The humanitarian crisis in Somalia continues to worsen. The current extreme, widespread and persistent multi-season drought is unprecedented. Four consecutive rainy seasons have failed, a climatic event not seen for at least 40 years. The rainy season from March to May 2022 appears to be the driest on record, devastating livelihoods and leading to a sharp increase in food, water and nutrition insecurity. The impact of the drought and growing economic pressures are aggravating the severity of the needs and driving the country to the brink of famine. An estimated 6.13 million people, 40% of whom are of school age, are affected by the drought.
The occurrence of drought aggravates and widens poverty and exacerbates pre-existing vulnerabilities, affecting education outcomes among others. The country was already experiencing an overall dysfunctional and weak education system resulting from multiple crises leading to poor quality education, encompassed by low enrolment, low retention rate, low transition rate and high number of non-professional teachers. skilled and untrained.
Before the drought, more than 70% of school-aged children were already out of school in the country. 3.1 million school-aged children needed educational assistance (HNO 2022). Currently, the Cluster estimates that 2.4 million school-age children are affected by drought. Of these, 1.7 million children are out of school. In addition, about 720,000 school children (47% girls) are at risk of dropping out due to the impact of drought.
At least 250 schools were closed before the end of the school year in May due to drought-related issues across the country and around 12 schools (10 in Somaliland and 2 schools for IDPs in northern Gaalkacyo) were closed. destroyed by storms in May. Before the drought, only 52% of schools classified as permanent structures and most educational institutions were at least 30 minutes away on foot for 1 in 3 households.
School dropout is on the rise and several reasons have been given. Parents’ inability to pay school fees, increased domestic work, increased protection risks, etc. strongly contributed to school dropout. In addition, the reduction in enrollment and attendance has been attributed to drought-induced movements, primarily affecting rural areas compared to urban areas. Based on the surveys carried out, as many people move in search of food and drinking water, there is an increase in the number of children who drop out of school. With the growing influx of IDPs, there is a reduction in opportunities for children to access education in settlements as existing spaces are limited. Many children who drop out of school, especially teenage girls, never return to class after they leave.
School feeding: Although little is known about the impact of school feeding programs on education, the immediate benefits include reduced hunger and improved school enrollment and attendance. With the intensity of the drought and worsening food crisis at the household level, it has been reported that children are dropping out of school because families cannot send starving children to school without an education program. school feeding. Schools with school feeding programs would see an increase in enrolment.