The security crisis on the central Sahel region (Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger) has been deteriorating due to an increased number of attacks from non-State armed groups (NSAGs) and inter-communal disputes. From northern Mali, to northern Burkina Faso and western Niger, the crisis has gradually escalated and spread, turning now into a serious security threat for the entire region.
The humanitarian impact of this crisis is worrisome with a number of displaced people multiplied by 10, growing from 213,000 in 2013 to 2.5 million at the end of 20211 . Insecurity in the Central Sahel region, combined with extreme poverty, climate change, food insecurity, malnutrition and the COVID-19 pandemic has driven around 3.5 million people among which 1.7 million are children in need of humanitarian assistance.
On top of the general insecurity and increased violence leading to mass displacements, deliberate attacks and threats on schools and against teachers and students, in school or on their way to school, are becoming more and more common, which further worsens the situation of children and jeopardizes their future. Over 5.500 schools2 were closed due to insecurity at the end of 2021 and 13 million children out of schools.
Attacks on schools have exacerbated existing structural challenges to education for all (poverty, poor school infrastructure, low attendance rate, insufficient number of well-trained teachers), and, in some cases, have reversed decades of progress.