Learners at Kudobou school, Northern Red Sea concentrate on their computer lessons. The computers are powered by solar-generated electricity. Photo by Melchizedek Malile/NRC
Read caption Learners at Kudobou school concentrate on their computer lessons. The computers are powered by solar-generated electricity. Photo: Melchizedek Malile/NRC

NRC in Eritrea

NRC is providing skills training and hope to youth in Eritrea

Our impact

NRC has been active in Eritrea since 2013 working in Partnership with the Ministry of Education in 4 different Zobas.

NRC's main focus in Eritrea is providing training to youth who often lack access to education and employment opportunities. This has been done through providing vocational skills training, where youth are trained in a marketable skill, such as hair dressing, electrical installation and plumbing.

The best students in each field are also selected for an apprenticeship with renowned companies and institutions in Eritrea. This increases the motivation among students and helps create linkages between the job market and the skills training.

Students are also trained in business management skills and are given a start-up grant after graduation to help them start up their own businesses.

NRC has also been providing training centres and primary schools with solar power. This has ensured students have access to computers and libraries and classrooms have light at night for evening classes and study.  NRC has trained technicians at the schools to ensure maintenance of the solar system and thereby its sustainability. 

Humanitarian and political background

Eritrea is situated in the drought-prone region of the Horn of Africa. Prolonged periods of conflict and severe drought have adversely affected Eritrea's agriculture-based economy and it remains one of the poorest countries in Africa

Eritrea remains under UN sanctions in accordance with the 2011 Security Council Resolutions 1907 and 2023. The economic situation has been dominated by continued high tensions with Ethiopia, which has resulted in resources being spent on the military and a closed and heavily fortified border. The economy has also been affected by rising food prices globally as it largely depends on food imports.
Lack of access and updated data on needs, continues to contribute to the difficulty in accurately assessing the vulnerability of the population, especially in lowlands and coastal areas and specifically for children, girls and women.

Eritrean migrants heading for Europe

Eritrea has a significantly large and growing population of youth that are uneducated, unemployed and lack relevant job skills to enable them to engage in productive work to earn a decent living.

This large number of unskilled youth continues to pose a major protection concern as they opt to flee the country through dangerous migration routes to escape from poverty and lack of economic opportunities. Those who remain behind are faced with the open-ended mandatory national service.

Migration concerns in Eritrea are not limited to urbanized and educated youth however. Migrants, including an increasing number of minors, now come from a wider cross-section of society. The relatively large number of unaccompanied minors arriving from Eritrea are at high risk of becoming victims of trafficking and human smuggling.

NRC activities in the field

Since 2013, NRC has been assisting youth in Eritera with education opportunities.


Few vocational skills training opportunities exist for Eritrean youth who either drop out of schools or do not get the opportunity to enrol in formal schools. As a result, 254,100 youth (representing a 61.8 per cent) in the country are currently out of school without any meaningful skills to help them engage in income generating activities.1 According to the 2012 EFA Global Monitoring Report, Eritrea does not have an effective National Skills Training Strategy for its youth, resulting in high levels of idle youth who have no skills that can help them engage in livelihood activities.

In order to respond to these needs, we:

  • Provide skills training to youth in the following trades: Hair dressing and beauty therapy, satellite dish and solar Installation and maintenance, pottery, weaving, electrical installation, plumbing and irrigation skills, marine, fishery and net making
  • Provide quality training for teachers
  • Install solar power systems to improve the quality of education in schools and training centres

Budget 2017
International Staff
Areas of Operation
Keren, Masawa and Aqordat
Budget 2016
Donors to our projects in Eritrea