Plan's goal: children and youth will realize all their rights in emergency situations
Natural and man-made disasters adversely affect millions of people every year. From providing immediate disaster relief to running recovery projects, Plan works to protect the rights of children during emergencies, ensuring their immediate and long-term needs are met.
When emergencies occur in countries where Plan is already present, our relationships and knowledge of communities, local structures and institutions make us best placed to assist affected children and families. In countries where Plan is not present or has a limited presence, we work with local and international organizations to maximize the impact of the disaster response.
Plan's disaster relief and recovery programs target children who are often disproportionately affected by emergencies. Child protection is central to our work and we provide children with safe spaces, education and emotional support as a top priority in our immediate disaster response.
Plan also believes that children recover from disasters more quickly when they are involved in rebuilding their community. Plan works to ensure that children and young people take part in the disaster response and have a significant voice in the decision-making.
For example, following the 2004 tsunami that devastated communities across south Asia, Plan India involved local children in designing new environmentally-friendly houses and villages in Villupuram; Plan Sri Lanka also worked with children to design a landmark child-friendly school in Hambantota.
Even after other organizations exit communities following their initial response, Plan remains in emergency areas to provide long-term recovery and rehabilitation. Plan continues to work by supporting long-term projects including school reconstruction, birth registration campaigns, vocational training, housing rehabilitation, and access to safe water and sanitation.
Disaster risk reduction
Preparation can make all the difference when the worst happens. Plan works with children, young people and communities to identify disaster risks and strengthen their resilience.
In a flood-prone area of Bangladesh, for example, Plan-supported children's groups were concerned that parents seldom saved for emergencies, making them very vulnerable. Now the children have set up their own savings scheme to help their families buy food and supplies when the floods return.
In Sierra Leone, children’s groups also participated in disaster risk reduction activities within their communities. Children led projects such as garbage cleaning and drainage construction to prevent flooding of nearby rivers, reservoir construction to reduce the risk of mudslides, and training on and production of energy-saving stoves to reduce firewood consumption.
Risk reduction programs also introduce youth to first aid care, evacuation training and disaster drills.
How does your support help?
Your support helps provide children, families and communities with immediate relief during times of disaster, as well as with long-term interventions needed to rebuild lives:
- Food aid, medical supplies, safe drinking water, sanitary facilities, and temporary shelter during and immediately after a disaster;
- School construction and teacher training to allow children to continue their education and receive proper care and protection;
- Birth registration;
- Vocational training and micro-enterprise development;
- Permanent housing, health system and community rehabilitation;
- Potable water and sanitation;
- And psychosocial support for children and adults.
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