Girls in conflict are some of the most vulnerable. During both natural disasters and complex emergencies, they face high risk of violence, exploitation, trafficking, child marriage, unequal access to healthcare and lost educational opportunities. At Plan International USA, we work with communities across the world to provide emergency preparedness, relief and recovery, and ensure the immediate and long-term needs of girls and children are met.
Girls recover more quickly from disasters when they are involved in rebuilding their community. Plan’s programming approach to Humanitarian Response is girl-centered and strives to be girl-led, because we believe girls are our most important and valued partners in driving program design and content. We act as a trusted ally that girls can rely on while navigating through conflict. The best way to identify the challenges that girls and young women face and define the path forward of success is to ask the experts: the girls themselves.
Our girl-driven Humanitarian Response programming includes four main focus areas:
- Protection: Girls, children and young women need protection during emergencies. Our programming prioritizes keeping girls safe before, during and after disaster strikes. We also with work with civil society organizations to ensure that girls, young women and children are included in governance planning and activities. By engaging governments at the community level to incorporate stakeholder priorities, Plan is able to more successfully implement development programs and advance girls’ rights.
- Girls in conflict: Plan’s emergency response programs address the immediate needs of girls, who are disproportionally affected by emergencies, vulnerable to trafficking, child marriage and lost time at school. We provide safe spaces, education and psychosocial support to the girls who need it most.
- Education in emergencies: We prioritize keeping girls and children educated while out of school during disasters, and keeping them on track of their curriculum. We also help rebuild schools affected by disasters so that the affected can return as soon as possible.
- Preparedness & resilience: Plan remains in emergency areas to provide long-term recovery and rehabilitation. We continue to support longer-term projects including school reconstruction, sustainable livelihoods, vocational training, shelter rehabilitation and access to safe water and sanitation. We also implement disaster risk reduction programs to strengthen local government and community group capacity to prepare for, respond to and rebound from emergencies.