Plan International's response to the floods in South America | Plan International Skip to main content

Plan International's response to the floods in South America

Too much rain puts at risk the lives of the most vulnerable: girls and boys.

Panama, 6th of April 2017.   The rains that have strongly affected several South American countries have decreased, however high peaks and torrential rains are still expected for April and even May. Thus, the emergency has not yet disappeared and the risks remain for the most vulnerable groups, such as girls and adolescents.

Many of the current efforts and concerns are focused on rebuilding the damage caused by the rainy season, which has reached historic levels in recent weeks and has severely affected several countries in South America. However, the emergency remains latent and the more complex consequences are beginning to appear. In Ecuador, more than 6,000 families are affected, while in Peru the number is more than one million affected; in Colombia, the final figures of people affected are unknown.

"The phenomena of “El Niño” and “La Niña” are playing with the climate. The severity of floods and droughts will increase with climate change. While in South Sudan the concern is the food shortage caused by drought, in the American continent we see the great ravages of rain, especially in Ecuador, Peru and recently in Colombia. Although they seem like isolated events, they are directly affecting the most vulnerable groups of children, and this entails endless risks that directly affect their rights "; Underlines Peter van Dommelen, Deputy Regional Director of Programs of Plan International in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Plan International recalls that abuse and violence against girls generate physical and psychological consequences that impede their full development. It is essential to emphasize their protection and well-being through humanitarian aid.

Girls and boys are the most vulnerable to this type of situation, they are exposed to diseases, hunger, they can suffer traumas, injuries and they can even be separated from their family and they are faced with difficult conditions of life.

"We are worried that with the rains and their mismanagement, comes the proliferation of the mosquito Aedes Aegipty, carrier of diseases like zika, dengue and chikungunya. The risk is latent from the introduction of diseases such as malaria and other diseases that arise as a result of water scarcity, lack of sanitation services and the limitations of families who have lost everything. Not all affectations are so visible, violence and other risks are increasing for boys and girls, as a result of the alteration of normal life in communities and education, a primary right, is also interrupted for the same reason"-added Van Dommelen.

Plan International is currently responding to other emergencies, including in Ecuador, Peru, Sudan and the Middle East.


Plan International Peru, has made a recent call for fundraising to respond to the emergency of € 1,403,000 for the first four months; To work in the areas of Child Friendly Spaces and protection to early childhood, shelters, education and water, sanitation and health. Fundación PLAN in Colombia and Plan International Ecuador is also responding to emergencies and calling for funds.

For more information, please contact:

Plan International in Latin America and the Caribbean (Panamá):

Maytee Zachrisson

Regional Media Specialist

Tel:  (507) 317-1700 ext 952   Mobile: +507 667-0945