The Government of Puntland State of Somalia, Education Cannot Wait and Save the Children Launch Major New Education Programme for Children Affected by Conflict and Drought

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‘Puntland welcomes the new funds which bridge the humanitarian and developmental gaps within the education sector in the region. Save the Children and its partner Education Cannot Wait are responding to the chronic underfunding of education in emergencies and crises by placing education as a priority,’ H.E. Said Abdullahi Deni, President of Puntland said. Photo © Save The Children

$5.6 million catalytic grant kickstarts resource mobilization efforts to fully fund the $60 million education response to reach approximately 400,000 children and youth

Garowe, Puntland, Somalia

The Government of Puntland, Education Cannot Wait and Save the Children launched a comprehensive new multi-year education programme today to improve learning and wellbeing of children affected by crises in Puntland.

The three-year 5.6 million seed-funding grant from Education Cannot Wait is designed to catalyse contributions from additional donors to cover the remaining $54.4 million required to implement the full programme over the next three years.

The programme will be implemented by Save the Children in partnership with the Government of Puntland to bridge the education gap for children and youth who have been forced out of education due to conflict and drought.

Access to education in Puntland is still limited with more than 41.2 per cent of children still out of school. Many of these children are recovering from being recruited into armed groups or have suffered significant psychological distress as the result of the on-going drought and conflict in the region. Girls are especially at risk for gender-based violence, early marriage and being left behind. The programme puts special emphasis on reaching children with disabilities.

H.E Said Abdullahi Deni, the President of Puntland, said the programme is a new beginning for Puntland’s children, and is a critical part of the state’s education in emergency strategy, which was finalised in December 2018.

“Puntland welcomes the new funds which bridge the humanitarian and developmental gaps within the education sector in the region. Save the Children and its partner Education Cannot Wait are responding to the chronic underfunding of education in emergencies and crises by placing education as a priority,’’ H.E Said Abdullahi Deni said. 

“It is our collective moral obligation to fulfil every child’s right to education. Girls and boys in Puntland deserve no less,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait. “With Education Cannot Wait’s catalytic grant, today’s launch marks a milestone in global efforts to ensure universal and equitable access to education as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG4). We must now work together to mobilize the resources for the full scope of the programme to ensure we leave no child behind in Puntland.”

Save the Children’s Country Director in Somalia, Mohamud Mohamed Hassan emphasised the importance of funding education for children in crises. 

“This new initiative comes at the right time. Many children in Somalia have missed years of education because of the massive disruption caused by conflict, loss of livelihoods through natural disasters, and insecurity. Children from this region deserve the opportunity to learn and develop, so they are fully able to participate in society when they get older. Children cannot miss out on education, even in emergencies, and for that, we thank Education Cannot Wait and the Government of Puntland for their timely support,” Hassan said.  

Save the Children is a close global partner with Education Cannot Wait. ln 2015, Save the Children published a report supporting the creation of a new funding mechanism for education in emergencies, which contributed to the development of the Fund. On the global level, Save the Children represents civil society organizations through Education Cannot Wait’s central governance structures, both in the High-level Steering Group and in the Executive Committee.

Education Cannot Wait and its wide range of partners – governments, UN agencies, international and national NGOs, the private sector and philanthropic foundations -are working to mobilize $1.8 billion by 2021 to support quality education for 9 million children living in conflict and protracted crisis.

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW):

 ECW is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies. It was launched by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to address the urgent education needs of 75 million children and youth in conflict and crisis settings. ECW’s investment modalities are designed to usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground, ensuring relief and development organizations join forces to achieve education outcomes. Education Cannot Wait is hosted by UNICEF. The Fund is administered under UNICEF’s financial, human resources and administrative rules and regulations, while operations are run by the Fund’s own independent governance structure. 


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About Save the Children

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. Around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.



For press enquiries, contact:

Said Isse, Media Coordinator, Save the Children in Somalia, +252907847640

Anouk Desgroseilliers, , +1 917 640-6820

For any other enquiries, contact:  


Mohamed Ali Farah, Director General, Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Puntland,, +252907796450

For Press Inquiries:

Anouk Desgroseilliers:

Kent Page: