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Plan International: Child Safety Must Remain Top Priority in Sierra Leone Recovery Efforts

FREETOWN - Thousands of children have been rendered homeless in Sierra Leone by the devastating mudslides and flooding that destroyed parts of the capital city on Monday, August 14th, says child rights and humanitarian organization Plan International.

With over 300 people confirmed dead and the rescue operation still under way, the safety and protection of the most vulnerable survivors – especially children – must remain a top priority.

“Children are among the most vulnerable when disasters occur,” says Martial Kounou, Plan International’s Interim Country Director in Sierra Leone. “Many will have become separated from their families as a result of the flooding and we must ensure that they receive assistance as quickly as possible.”

Plan International is carrying out a rapid needs assessment to support the families and children affected by the disaster, many of whom are now being housed in emergency shelters.

“We are working with the government and other humanitarian agencies to provide those affected with urgent items such as food, clean clothes, hygiene kits, and bedding to help them through the days and nights to come. We will also be looking to ensure that the particular needs of children are catered for, and that they remain safe and protected in a time of such uncertainty, upheaval and chaos in their lives.”

NOTE TO EDITORS: Plan International experts in Sierra Leone are available for interviews.

Plan International began working in Sierra Leone in 1976 to help vulnerable children access their rights to education, health, protection, and livelihoods.

About Plan International USA

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Plan believes in the power and potential of every child. Working together with children, young people, supporters, and partners, Plan strives for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children. For more information, please visit PlanUSA.org.

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