Tigray Education Bureau Appeals for International Aid Amidst Unfolding Famine Crisis

Mekelle:  10 December 2023 (Tigray Herald)

Tigray Education Bureau Appeals for International Aid Amidst Unfolding Famine Crisis

In a statement on Tuesday, Tigray Education Bureau issued a desperate plea for immediate international intervention to support 2.4 million students as famine continues to grip Tigray, jeopardizing the already war-devastated education system in the region.

A recent “Mehere Assessment” conducted by the Tigray Disaster Risk Management Commission, in collaboration with the Federal government and NGOs, revealed severe drought impact in 36 Weredas and 213 Vicinities. This crisis has left 625 schools and 222,940 actively enrolled students facing dire circumstances.

The bureau stated that with only 40% of the expected 2.4 million students managing to return to school, the region is grappling with hunger-related deaths, increasing dropout rates, and significant internal displacement.

“Though more than 2.4 million students were expected to be enrolled, only 40% of these students were able to get back to school.” The statement underscored.

The statement said attempts to reopen schools after war in collaboration with NGOs and local communities are being challenged by numerous factors including the IDPs in the region.

“110 schools are still occupied by IDs, and 552 schools are inaccessible to the interim regional administration as they are still occupied by Amhara and Eritrean forces.” The statement said.

The Tigray Education Bureau urgently calls upon the international community and stakeholders to provide humanitarian support, emphasizing the need for School Feeding Programs to rescue the 222,940 children facing the immediate risk of leaving school.

“People are dying of hunger; students are dropping out of school; and a significant number of population is being internally displaced and migrating across borders and many students couldn’t sit for the recently administered 8th grade national examination due to hunger.” The statement added.

According the statement, the estimated cost for feeding the affected students over the next six months is projected at ETB 365,175,720 (approximately 6.5 Million USD), at 12 Birr per meal per student per day.

This urgent appeal underscores the critical need for swift international intervention to save lives, ensure the continuity of education, and prevent further catastrophe in the region.

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