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Children in an IDP camp in Myanmar

Our work with refugees and internally displaced people

Overview

Capacity statement: Our work with refugees and internally displaced people

 

“My children, especially three-year-old Ezz, are still suffering. Whenever he hears fireworks or loud noises, he feels afraid and unsafe,” says Mohammed, whose family fled from Syria to Egypt. Plan International provides psychosocial support activities for children such as Ezz. 

“I really hope it won’t be long before my children can recover from what they’ve been through,” says Mohammed. “I want them to be able to lead a normal life.”

Globally, one in every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum. If this were the population of a country, it would be the world’s 24th largest.

Since early 2011, the main reason for the acceleration has been the war in Syria. Every day last year on average 42,500 people became refugees, asylum seekers, or internally displaced, a four-fold increase in just four years.

Globally, one in every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum

Our programming for refugees and internally displaced people integrates education, child protection, psychosocial, health, nutrition, and cash transfer programming to address children’s needs in a holistic way. We also balance our work with local host communities, so that they themselves can also benefit, and ensure our work is sensitive to local realities

Download the capacity statement to learn more about our work with displaced communities and vulnerable people.

You can also read the separate case studies document, which gives on-the-ground details of 9 responses that Plan International is actively engaged in including:

  • Syrian refugee carries her baby
    SYRIA RESPONSE: We are strengthening our existing response in Egypt. We are supporting partner organisations in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria. We are working towards establishing responses in Jordan and Turkey
  • Girl using a water dispenser distributed by Plan International in a camp for internally displaced people, in Myanmar
    MYANMAR RESPONSE: Protracted conflicts in Myanmar’s border areas have displaced more than 500,000 people. Plan International is working with local communities in Kachin and Rakhine.
  • 14-year-old unaccompanied boy assisted by Plan International in a refugee camp, Rwanda
    BURUNDIAN REFUGEES: Plan International is responding to the influx of Burundian refugees in Tanzania and Rwanda, as well as closely monitoring the situation in Uganda.

Read all the case studies

Executive Summary

Refugees and Internally Displaced People

Plan International’s programming focuses on both refugees and internally displaced people. We balance our work with local host communities, so that they themselves can also benefit and ensure our work is sensitive to local realities.

Every day last year on average 42,500 people became refugees, asylum seekers, or internally displaced. (UNHCR)

In particular, the dynamics of conflicts are complex and diverse. Wars, conflict and persecution have forced more people to flee their homes and seek refuge within their countries and across borders. Refugee and internally displaced children and young people (especially unaccompanied or separated children and adolescent girls) are at greater risk than adults of abuse, neglect, violence, exploitation, malnutrition and diseases. At the same time, education may be disrupted and family and other social support networks may be weakened.

UNHCR’s annual global trends report: World at War indicates that the number of people forcibly displaced at the end of 2014 had risen to 59.5 million compared to 51.2 million the year earlier, and 37.5 million a decade ago. Evidence shows half of refugees are children. The increase represents the biggest leap ever seen in a single year. Moreover, the report said the situation is likely to get worse.

Our approach

  • Emphasis on adolescent girls and excluded and vulnerable children (such as children with disabilities).
  • Integrated education, child protection, psychosocial, health, nutrition and cash transfer programming to address children’s needs in a holistic way. 
  • Our programming on refugees and internally displaced people integrates core humanitarian needs, including food, nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene

Girl using a water dispenser distributed by Plan International in a camp for internally displaced people, in Myanmar

What we do: Education in emergencies

  • Formal education for children aged 5-18 years through the establishment of temporary learning spaces, provision of teaching and learning materials, and strengthening the capacity of teachers, ministry of education and parents/community.
  • Non-formal education for adolescents, youth, out-of-school, drop-out children and young people (10-24 years) through the use of accelerated learning, bridging/catch up programmes, modular/flexible learning and mobile approaches.
  • Early learning/pre-school education for children (0-5 years) through formal pre-schools/kindergartens, non-formal learning through mobile or community based approaches and strengthening capacity and education of parents.

Girls sitting on their desk in their classroom in Mali

What we do: child protection in emergencies

  • Strengthening community-based and national child protection systems to prevent and respond to violence against children, as well as support reintegration of child survivors of violence.
  • Providing access to quality services and appropriate response interventions to children who have experienced abuse, violence and exploitation.
  • Strengthening psychosocial well-being of children affected by emergencies and their families.
  • Prioritising child protection in all humanitarian action to ensure children are not exposed to programmes designed without proper consideration of children’s safety or well‑being.

Children from Central Africa Republic waving in front of a temporary learning space built in a refugee camp in Cameroon

What we do: Other areas of activity

Plan International has an interest in other programmatic areas, including child labour and civil registration. Plan International undertook a review of good practice in several agencies (including Plan International, UNHCR and UNICEF) on birth registration in emergencies, including refugee situations, and produced guidance for birth registration in emergencies. 

Syrian refugee carries her baby

Our growing disaster response

During disasters and conflict, local communities are the first to respond in saving lives. Plan International’s approach puts the rights and needs of children, youth and their care-givers at the centre, encouraging them to be agents of change in their communities. Plan International works with children, youth and communities to develop appropriate ways to protect themselves before, during and after disasters and conflict.

Plan International disaster risk management – Global spend (€M)

Graph showing Plan International spend on disaster risk management programming between 2006 and 2015

  • Capacity statement
  • Case studies