USAID Yemen Education Fact Sheet

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Yemeni girl raises her hand
Out-of-school children attend a class supported by USAID in partnership IRC at Out-Al Nahdah School in Al Azareq district, Al Dhale’e governorate.
Photo Credit: Anas Mohammed, IRC Yemen

USAID is reaching vulnerable children in Yemen and providing critical education support to help schools withstand the immediate impact of the conflict.

Yemen is suffering the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, exacerbated by its ongoing conflicts. USAID development assistance in Yemen bridges the relief-to-development continuum and strengthens Yemen’s resiliency through programs that stabilize the economy, rebuild basic education and health systems, increase social cohesion, and improve water sector access and management.

As the conflict in Yemen continues, millions of children lack reliable access to schooling due to widespread displacement, damage to schools, lack of resources and general insecurity. Many have also been exposed to serious psychological trauma, further putting their education at risk. An estimated 2,000 schools that have been partially or completely destroyed due to conflict are being used to host internally displaced people (IDPs) or are occupied by armed groups. Of the over 3.6 million IDPs in Yemen, approximately 2 million are school children and youth, which further contributes to education gaps. Insecurity and shortage of funds also affect the Ministry of Education’s ability to provide education services.

These challenges have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, which closed schools for much of 2020, disrupting learning for 5.8 million children. Lack of distance learning programs, personal protective equipment for teachers, and testing capacity continue to impede both home-based alternative learning opportunities as well as safe school reopening plans.

USAID’s Response and Expected Results

In partnership with the Ministry of Education, USAID’s education programming addresses the immediate needs of basic education service delivery and the long-term objective of rebuilding a functioning education system. In 2020, USAID’s educational development programs reached 889,025 learners in Yemen.

USAID’s flagship Gateway to Education activity supports a strengthened, resilient education system to provide quality formal education for Yemeni children. The activity supports four key areas that are aligned with Yemen’s Transition Education Plan: safe and equitable access to education; improved teaching and learning; improved facilities and supplies; and strengthened institutional capacities. Since January 2021, Gateway has delivered 861 new desks to schools, held consultations with 1,700 members of Father and Mother councils (similar to Parent-Teacher Associations), conducted local needs assessments to match education and psychosocial services with community demands, and delivered school supply kits with school supplies and teaching materials to 140 schools.

USAID restores access and facilitates re-entry to basic education through the Yemen Basic Education/Emergency Crisis Response Project. Interventions include: a back-to-school campaign that equips students with school bags and basic learning supplies to help increase enrollment; minor school  repairs to ensure an environment conducive to learning; a pilot self-learning program for children in high-risk areas who cannot access schools to continue their education; psychosocial support to help children overcome trauma by developing positive coping mechanisms; and the development and implementation of safety and emergency plans to help schools protect students and remain safe spaces for children. This activity has provided support to more than 1.3 million children as of March 2021.

Through the School Doors program, two activities – Improving Access to Quality Education in Yemen and Education in Emergency: A Bridge to Development and Resilience – support identification and enrollment of out-of-school children and youth into accelerated learning and remedial learning spaces, or non-formal education. The activity has provided safe learning spaces for about 6,500 out-of-school children to date.

Last updated: June 30, 2021

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