Sahel conflicts leave thousands of kids out of school

More than 500 killed in Mali tribal clashes

More than 500 killed in Mali tribal clashes. File photo

from RUDD KONTE in Bamako, Mali
BAMAKO, (CAJ News) MORE than 320 000 children and young people are affected by school closures as the violence in Mali and Niger escalate.

The two countries are affected by rebellions by Islamist sects and ethnic violence.

A significant lack of funding for the humanitarian response in the education sector persists in the affected areas with an estimated $42 million (R608 million) needed to address the situation.

Yasmine Sherif, director from Education Cannot Wait (ECW) Fund, said the Sahel, where Mali and Niger are located, is one of the most unstable and fragile regions in the world.

“Children and young people bear the brunt of armed conflict, forced displacement, extreme poverty, the effects of climate change, food insecurity and malnutrition,” Sherif said.

ECW Fund recently announced on a new tranche of funding of $3,7 million (R53,5 million) to support education programs in emergency situations in Mali and Niger .

This funding will support access to education for more than 160 000 children and young people affected by insecurity, displacement, conflicts and ongoing crises in these two Sahel countries where the humanitarian situation is severely degraded.

“With our partners, we are investing to immediately offer educational opportunities to the most marginalized and vulnerable girls and boys in Mali and Niger so that they can learn and develop the skills they need to thrive and become agents of positive change,” Sherif said.

– CAJ News

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