Decades of conflict and severe drought have adversely affected Eritrea's agriculture-based economy. The country is one of the least developed countries in the world.
For the last 18 years, the country’s economy has been dominated by a resource sapping "no war, no peace" situation with neighbouring Ethiopia, leading to increased military spending and a closed, heavily guarded border.
A growing number of young people opt to leave the country to escape poverty and the mandatory national service that can be lengthy and onerous. Some escape through dangerous migration routes and risk being trafficked or tortured for ransom. Those who leave without permission risk a long prison sentence if they return. All those who have not been released from national service are hiding in fear of being forcefully recruited into the military. Most of the young generation end up as refugees in Ethiopia and Sudan.
Meanwhile, the country has a large and growing population of youth who never went to school and who struggle to find jobs.
We work with marginalised people and out-of-school youth from remote areas. Due to the high number of uneducated youth and lack of NGO partners, we have launched an extensive education operation.
To provide alternative options for Eritrean youth, we work to increase opportunity for better and diverse jobs, improved self-reliance and reliable livelihoods.
Human rights issues and migration are sensitive issues and not openly debated in Eritrea.The lack of updated data makes it difficult to assess the needs of the population.
We provide education opportunities for children and youth to improve their chances of employment in Eritrea. Our teams:
- provide vocational training in pottery, weaving, electrical installation, masonry, plumbing and irrigation skills, fishery and net making
- select the best students in each field and provide them with an opportunity to do an apprenticeship with renowned companies and institutions in Eritrea
- train students in business management and provide them with a start-up grant and kits after graduation to help them start their own businesses
- train teachers
- equip vocational training centres with machinery and tools
- UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
- Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
- Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM)
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
- Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)
About NRC in (country)
Thousands of families reunited one month after Ethiopia–Eritrea border reopens
Families separated for years enjoy tearful reunions and migrants seek new lives, as over 10,000 people have crossed into Ethiopia since 11 September.
Escaping a life in poverty
In Eritrea, 35-year-old Adunai is learning how to use a weaving machine. “The knowledge I have gained from the training will allow me to live my life to the fullest. It has given me skills and hope for the future.”
NRC Horn of Africa Annual report 2015
In 2015 NRC Horn of Africa continued to deliver life-saving assistance to displaced persons in humanitarian situations across the region