The Federal government of Somalia declared a state of emergency in November 2021 due to one of the worst droughts in decades following four consecutive failed rain seasons. Education has been tremendously impacted by the crisis, with the Education Cluster estimating more than 2.4M Somali school-aged children affected.
More than 250 schools have closed across the country, directly or indirectly due to the drought. Over 720,000 children who remained in school are at risk of dropping out, placing them in greater risk of child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and child labour.
In response, the GEC deployed two Rapid Response Team (RRT) members to reinforce coordination: Anais Marquette was deployed as Cluster Coordinator and Fred Mugabi as Information Management RRT (11 deployment weeks overall from June to August).
The GEC team undertook a secondary data review and conducted a Rapid Needs Assessment (RNA) to strengthen the limited data and evidence available on how the drought has impacted education. Findings revealed over 50% of the children in the camp setting were unable to attend school. Additionally, the inability to afford the fees associated with education was a leading cause of their non-attendance. Other barriers to accessing education in drought-affected areas identified include lack of education infrastructure, child labour, and early/forced marriages.
The deployed team also reinforced internal and external information sharing, representing the Somalia Education Cluster at inter-sector and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)-led meetings, and providing regular updates on Education partners’ Drought response activities, supporting partners to strengthen coordination ahead of school reopening.
Following the end of the RRTs’ deployment, an Information Manager was deployed by IMMAP to continue supporting this critical capacity. Deployment by GEC Deputy Coordinator (Save the Children), MacKenzie Monserez, from the end of September will support capacity strengthening at sub-national level and facilitate stronger inter-cluster synergies.