Plan International Canada calls for urgent action to help the world’s 30 million refugee children

With the devastating photos and harrowing stories of refugees in Europe recently, Plan International Canada is urging the global community to take urgent, collective and decisive action to address all forced migration and the underlying causes driving these desperate journeys. Children face a particularly dire need for help, as they make up over half of the world's 59.5 million refugees and are among the most vulnerable.

In addition to the risks to their lives, made clear through the headlines recently, refugee children also face potential for abuse, neglect, exploitation, as well as the trauma of experiencing or witnessing violence. They can be deprived of their education, and they often desperately need psychosocial support and protection, especially if they become separated from their families.

Never before has the world seen so many refugees – 59.5 million according to a UN report released in June 2015. Half of them are children, and the numbers are growing daily. So far this year alone, 3,641 migrants have died, according to the International Organization for Migration, including 2,664 in the Mediterranean.

Plan International is helping refugee children across the globe through access to safe spaces, education, healthcare and basic necessities, and medicine, medical equipment and training for the health workers who are struggling to treat injured children in damaged hospitals.

Plan International was founded in response to the plight of girls and boys orphaned by the Spanish civil war. For over 77 years we’ve been supporting children whose lives have been torn apart by conflict, and our decades of experience have shown that the global community needs to invest in and support families so they can in turn protect their children.

Canadians wishing to support Plan International’s emergency relief efforts can visit plancanada.ca/emergency-appeals.

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