Ali Ibrahim Al-Moshki (author)
During the revolution, armed militias and government forces used hundreds of children’s schools as barracks and firing points. When the soldiers and militiamen left, the schools were left in complete disrepair, some destroyed entirely. Now, nearly two years later, 380 of those schools have been repaired.
Abdulkareem Al-Jindari, the deputy minister of the Education Ministry, told the Yemen Times that approximately 146 schools in Abyan, in addition to 200 schools in Sa’ada, were seriously damaged between 2011-2012. Hundreds of schools in other parts of the country were also damaged.
Schools in Abyan, Aden, Lahj, Sana’a and Sa’ada have been rebuilt, Education Minister Dr. Abdulrazaq Al-Ashwal said. In Abyan 70 schools were repaired and 45 schools in Aden. All but one school in Sana’a has been repaired. Aid money—amounting to millions of dollars —has been dedicated to the reconstruction.
The repairs have been made possible by funding provided by a group of foreign organizations and states, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the German government, UNICEF, Save the Children, Oxfam and others. The Social Fund for Development, a relief program launched by the Yemeni government and funded by foreign sources, also carried out the rebuilding. The American government has funded the repair of 10 schools, too, Al-Jindari said.
Over the course of the past two years, schools in Aden were also used to house refugees from Abyan, following clashes between government forces and believed Al-Qaeda affiliates, which in 2011 gained control of the southern province. Tens of thousands of Yemenis from Abyan were displaced.
UNICEF provided emergency aid—including electricity, boards and sanitation facilities—to 33 schools that sustained damages after accommodating the refuges flooding out of Abyan, Mohammed Al-Ebi, the education coordinator for UNICEF in Aden, said.