Children in Ethiopia are dropping out of school in drought-stricken areas as they are forced to leave their homes and seek refuge. According to statistics, more than 400 schools were have been closed and 727 are only partially open.
“Our school is closed due to drought. I miss my school life, teachers and classmates so much. I expect the reopening of schools”, said student Ahmed Yusuf.
The UN is on the ground trying to set up a system to provide protection and education to the children.
“More than half a million children have dropped out of school, so we are trying to set up a system that is called ‘Beti’, that is an education and protection where children can go. They can get basic education there and they can get also psychological assistance and protection assistance”, announced Gianfranco Rotigliano, UNICEF’s Representative in Ethiopia.
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Nearly 7 million people in the drought-hit regions are affected after a third failed rainy season devastated herding communities.
According to the UN, worst-affected regions, such as the Somali and Oromia regions, saw an increase of 20% in cases of “severe acute malnutrition”.