Recent clashes in South Sudan have led to a new influx of refugees into North Uganda. A rapid needs assessment carried out by Plan International Uganda has established that children could make up as much as 75% of these refugees.
Children are the most vulnerable group during emergencies
Children who arrive as refugees include those who have been separated from their parents or orphaned and have specific and urgent protection needs. Already, around 2,000 unaccompanied children have been registered from the current influx.
Other critical needs for children include clean water, hygiene and sanitation, shelter, education and psychosocial support.
Plan International Uganda has been responding to the influx of South Sudanese refugees since 2013. With the support of Irish Aid, we have distributed an assortment of items in the newly established settlements to provide for the basic needs of the newly arriving refugees.
The items include tents, blankets, saucepans, soap, jerry cans, and mosquito nets. These will help meet the basic needs of vulnerable children who have arrived with no belongings. The distribution of these items will benefit over 8,000 refugees, in particular children, in a number of refugee settlements.
Safe education, play and recovery
We are also rapidly establishing new semi-permanent learning and child friendly spaces to accommodate over 2,000 new refugee children. These structures will enable children between 3-6 years to access education and enable them to play as well as increase their safety and recovery from the distress and trauma caused by their experiences.
“Children are the most vulnerable group during emergencies and in the aftermath of a disaster, they are faced with long-term impact of trauma both emotionally and physically. It is the responsibility of everyone to ensure their safety and protection,” said Rashid Javed, Plan International Uganda Country Director.