• With school due to reopen in September, over 2.7 million children remain in need of education assistance due to prolonged and compounded emergency crises, including 1 million children unable to access an education because their schools were damaged during conflict.
• Without urgent investments in education response before the start of the new school year, these children are unlikely to receive educational support, some for a third consecutive year. Despite Education in Emergencies (EiE) being central to linking emergency responses with wider development objectives, UNICEF’s EiE programme remains grossly underfunded (84 per cent) with only 76,489 children (21 per cent of the target) provided with access to accelerated learning programmes as of July 2019.
• UNICEF has secured severe acute malnutrition (SAM) treatment supplies (RUTF, routine drugs and therapeutic milk) to cover the current need to treat 503,696 SAM children (including refugees) until the end of 2019, with a four-month buffer stock.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Provision of quality education remains challenged by compounded emergency crises that continue to disrupt children’s access to school. Over 2.7 million children have been identified to need educational assistance in 20191, including some one million children who were unable to access educational services due to damages and closures of schools in the past three years. Without access to education, children’s cognitive development, psychosocial status and protection will continue to be at risk in the new school year. Immediate action, including longer-term investments, is crucial to ensure that quality education is provided to children in emergencies as life-saving and key to securing recovery.
Delayed, erratic and below normal cumulative rainfall in the southern and south-eastern pastoral areas and north-eastern and parts of belg producing areas of Ethiopia has adversely affected livestock and food production and household incomes, in turn leading to deteriorating food security. Despite the improved kiremt rains (June to July 2019) that may yield a better meher harvest (October to November 2019), the drought-affected areas have reported poor regeneration of pasture and water resources as well as late planting of belg crops. As a result, they will remain in crisis (IPC phase 32) through September 2019 with 3.8 million people, including 2 million children, affected. The drought is also expected to exacerbate children’s access to education with the potential for displacement.
The Government of Ethiopia’s strategic plan to address internal displacement that commenced in April 2019 completed its first phase in June 2019. The Government has reported that 94 per cent of IDPs3 have returned to their places of origin4. Returnees remain in dire need of lifesaving and recovery assistance as most have not been able to fully resume their normal lives, have returned to destroyed homes, have no livelihoods, and lack of access to basic services. Returnees, many of whom are closer to places of return but have not returned to their original homes, report being fearful of retaliation, living in insecure environments, and lacking access to basic services such as water and shelter. Significant needs remain that could potentially threaten another wave of displacement.