Education Cannot Wait Announces US$639,000 Allocation to Support Emergency Response in Comoros in the Aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth

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With a US$1.4 million funding gap remaining for the educational humanitarian response, Education Cannot Wait calls on donors and partners to step up to meet the full scope of needs. Photo: UNICEF/Comoros

27,282 Children to Benefit From Rapid Educational Response

New York

Education Cannot Wait approved a US$639,000 allocation to get 27,000 children and youth back into safe and protective learning environments in Comoros after Cyclone Kenneth caused widespread destruction in the small island developing state in late April.

The Education Cannot Wait grant will reach 61 per cent of the Comoran children and youth affected by the devastating cyclone, including 14,000 girls. It will be implemented in partnership with the Government of Comoros by UNICEF.

With a US$1.4 million funding gap remaining for the educational humanitarian response, Education Cannot Wait calls on donors and partners to step up to meet the full scope of needs.

“This is an unexpected and extremely traumatic experience for children and youth. By providing them with safe and protective learning environments, they are better equipped to cope with their fears and more empowered to regain a sense of normalcy in their lives,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait.

Cyclone Kenneth affected approximately 400 schools across the three islands of Comoros. In all, 213 classrooms were totally destroyed and 465 were partially damaged. This has left approximately 44,800 learners without access to safe schools.

Entire communities were shattered, and many teachers and families lost their homes and were displaced by the disaster. The country also faces multiplying risks like the spread of cholera and other water-borne diseases.

The cyclone and flooding happened right around the annual harvest season causing devastating impacts on agriculture, livestock and fisheries. With communities’ livelihoods under such stress, children’s access to education is even more at risk, particularly for girls.

Education Cannot Wait’s allocation focuses on supporting a swift return to school for affected children. It will help: repair damaged school buildings; provide children, teachers and communities with educational supplies and life-saving messaging on disaster risk reduction and hygiene; and, support the government and communities in building back better after the cyclone.

The allocation also focuses on promoting gender equality and equity. This includes ensuring that the estimated 775 pupils with disabilities living in areas affected by Cyclone Kenneth will not be further disadvantaged in the response and recovery phases.

In addition to Education Cannot Wait’s support to the emergency response to Cyclone Kenneth in the Comoros, the Fund is also responding to the urgent educational needs of children in the aftermaths of this year’s cyclone season in Southern Africa in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.


  • Support to reach 27,282 children in 45 affected communities across the Comoros archipelago
  • Repair damaged roofs in priority schools for a total of 50 classrooms
  • Repair and maintenance of gender-sensitive water and sanitation facilities including the restoration of water connection in affected schools
  • Provide desks for 2,800 pupils
  • Supply schools with quality learning materials, including 100 ‘schools in a box’ and recreational kits
  • Train 700 teachers (50 per cent of whom are women) on the use of educational materials, disaster risk reduction and other mechanisms to make schools a safer place to learn and thrive.

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