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Yemen: Nine Years Into Conflict And Two Years Into Truce, School Dropouts Soar

After nine years of conflict in Yemen, two in five
children, or 4.5
, are out of school, with displaced children
twice as likely to drop out than their peers, according to a
new report by Save the Children.

The report, titled
‘ Hanging in the Balance: Yemeni Children’s Struggle for
Education’ (attached), found that one-third of families
surveyed in Yemen have at least one child who has dropped
out of school in the past two years despite the UN-brokered
truce that took effect in 2022.

Although the truce
officially expired in October 2022, parties have continued
to adhere to its core elements and large-scale fighting has
not reignited. However, while casualty rates have dropped,
three quarters of students (76%) reported that their sense
of safety has not increased, with 14% of families citing
violence as a direct cause of school dropouts.

ongoing violence and the collapsed economy in Yemen have
pushed two-thirds of the population below the poverty line
and displaced an estimated 4.5
million people
or 14% of the population, most of whom
have been displaced multiple times.

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Save the
Children’s analysis found that displaced children are
twice as vulnerable to school dropouts, and while returning
to the area of origin reduces the vulnerability of
internally displaced children to school dropouts by 20%,
ongoing insecurity prevents their ability to return

Monthly school fees and the cost of textbooks
are putting education out of reach for many, with 20% of
families reporting they are unaffordable. Over 44% of
caregivers and children surveyed said that the need to
support their family’s income generation was a primary
reason behind school dropouts. Hani-, 48, is a teacher, who
was compelled to withdraw two of his four daughters from
school due to the high cost. “School expenses for each child
can reach more than 25% of my salary. My salary is 76,300
Riyals (approximately US$46), and that is not even enough to
cover the food we need.”

The minimum food basket – the
amount needed to sustain a family of seven for a month –
costs 85 USD on average in Yemen.

Rami-, a 12-year-old
boy, said he had to drop out of school to support his
family. Rami- said:

“How can I go to school when I
know we can’t cover our expenses and my siblings need food?
I must leave school and work.”

Mohamed Mannaa, Save
the Children Interim Country Director in Yemen

“Nine years into this forgotten conflict, we
are confronting an education emergency like never before.
Our latest findings must be a wake-up call and we must act
now to protect these children and their future.

the truce reduced some violence, it hasn’t ever brought the
stability families desperately need to rebuild their lives.
Above everything else, families in Yemen need an official
ceasefire; without one, families are left in

“We can’t let the children of Yemen, who yearn
for nothing more than safety and the chance to learn, lose
sight of a future filled with possibility. Every child in
Yemen deserves to grow up with security, access to quality
education, and a horizon filled with promise. The longer we
wait, the harder it is to achieve long lasting

The impact of the education crisis on Yemen’s
children and their future is profound. Without immediate
intervention, an entire generation risks being left behind,
with long-term consequences for the country’s recovery and

Save the Children calls on all
stakeholders, including the Yemeni authorities, donor
states, institutions, and humanitarian actors, to urgently
address these challenges. This includes committing to a
renewed peace process, ensuring the protection of schools
and students, increasing funding for education, and scaling
up integrated child protection interventions.

For over
60 years, Save the Children has been dedicated to supporting
Yemen’s children. We’re currently active across 11
governorates, focusing on food security, health, nutrition,
child protection, education, and water, sanitation and
hygiene (WASH) initiatives. Our work includes health and
nutrition programs, access to education through non-formal
learning and teacher training, child protection efforts, and
strengthening community resilience with cash assistance and

© Scoop Media

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