As World Refugee Day approaches, Plan International is reaffirming its commitment to ensuring refugees and internally displaced people fleeing turmoil at home are provided with the proper support and humanitarian assistance.
Although the Syrian refugee crisis has dominated the news in recent months, Plan’s work with refugees takes place across much of Africa as well.
Here are eight places where Plan is working side-by-side with refugees.
- Egypt – Syrian refugees
More than 300,000 Syrian refugees have flooded into urban areas of Egypt, and Plan is stepping in to ensure children – and their parents – are able to adapt to a new life away from their war-torn country. Education is a major priority. Plan is supporting access to formal education and providing remedial classes for Syrian refugees to help children overcome language and cultural barriers.
Parents, too, are being provided with much-needed support. Plan’s Parenting Education Sessions teach parents about looking after their children, and the rights they have as refugees.
Plan is also working on peace-building and integration of refugees within the urban communities in which they live.
- Ethiopia (Gambella) – South Sudanese refugees
Since 2013, more than 270,500 South Sudanese refugees have made their way into Ethiopia, fleeing internal conflict and warfare in their home country.
Plan is supporting Education, child protection -, access to child friendly spaces, and youth clubs.
- Rwanda – Congolese and Burundian refugees
Political upheaval and violence has led to a flood of Burundian refugees.
In Rwanda, Plan is working at two reception centers (Nyanza and Bugesera), as well as at a refugee camp in Mahama, supporting women, girls, and unaccompanied children.
Plan’s activities focus on child-protection and sexual and gender-based violence prevention and response.. Plan also distributes food and other services to children when they arrive, informs women about violence-related issues in the camp.
- Tanzania – Burundian refugees
Burundian refugees have also fled to Tanzania, where Plan is working with the International Rescue Committee and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and has set up three safe spaces for children to learn and play, as well as help them receive support and referrals for further care.
At the centers, children have a chance to play and take part in group activities. They are encouraged to discuss the difficulties that they and their families are facing, while social workers use these spaces to identify children who require more structured counselling, or those who might be suffering from abuse or illness.
- Cameroon – Nigerian and Central African (CAR) refugees
Cameroon has been home to refugees fleeing both Nigeria and the Central African Republic.
Plan has focused on sanitation and hygiene by constructing boreholes, latrines, bathing facilities, dust bins, and waste pits. Basic items such as kitchen sets, mosquito nets, blankets, tents, jerry cans, water tanks, and hygiene kits have also been distributed.
Additionally, for the thousands of CAR and Nigerian refugee children, Plan has constructed child-friendly spaces and temporary learning centers to keep children safe and less vulnerable, while allowing them to continue their education.
- Mali – Malian returnees from surrounding countries (including Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mauritania)
The Mali crisis has caused internal displacement and cross-border movements into Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Niger since 2012. Currently there are 61,920 internally displaced people and a total of 136,772 Malian refugees in neighboring countries.
Plan International Mali has been monitoring and responding to the situation since 2012 and currently implements education, child protection, nutrition, cash-for-work, and water, sanitation, and hygiene programming.
- Burkina Faso – Malian refugees
Education is a priority for Malian refugees living in Burkina Faso.
Hawa, for example, is one of over 40,000 refugees in Burkina Faso to flee from violence in the northern part of Mali, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Thanks to Plan summer catch-up classes, she is back in school and on-track.
- Niger – Malian refugees
About 60 percent of the people in the Tabareybarey refugee camp in Niger are children.
Plan is working in the camp to improve the lives of children and young people, with a particular focus on girls. In emergency situations, girls are often vulnerable to violence, rape, and forced marriages. Child marriage and early motherhood prevent girls from going to school, often permanently.
Learn about Plan's work during disasters and conflict.