November 30, 2023

Over 682,000 students in Ethiopia affected by school closures due to devastating drought

Abiy Ahmed
Abiy Ahmed

More than 2,000 schools have closed in Ethiopia, affecting over 682,000 students as the drought continues to devastate vulnerable people, said a recent report from the United Nations.

“Children’s education is increasingly affected with school dropout rate increasing due to families migrating to better-off areas and due to lack of water sources at schools. More than 2,000 schools are closed including 1,800 schools in Somali, 334 schools in East and West Hararge zones in Oromia regions alone, affecting more than 682,000 students,” reported a June humanitarian update from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Ethiopia has been dramatically destabilized over the past few years as devastating drought and violent conflict have combined with several other factors to create a humanitarian crisis.

The drought and regional conflict have both caused many families to migrate to more secure places. Education has not been a priority as many are just hoping to survive.

In May, the United Nations reported that a total of 1.39 million children in Tigray were missing out on education due to Ethiopia’s brutal civil war.

Additionally, Human Rights Watch reported that Ethiopia was one of several countries with an observable increase in attacks on schools in recent years.

In many places across Ethiopia, children have been traumatized by the brutality of war and are facing severe levels of hunger. As international attention focuses on resolving the war and combating economic challenges, the lack of educational opportunities is a continued reality likely to have lasting consequences.

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