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World Refugee Day: A new home and a new life

A group of children living in a refugee camp in Uganda.

Nearly 45,000 children who fled South Sudan have been registered as refugees and are now living in Uganda.

Over the last year, stories from South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Syria have made headlines. These headlines tell stories of conflict and war, hate and fear.

Plan has been working to support refugees in these countries and on June 20 – World Refugee Day - we can change the headlines by drawing attention to those impacted by ongoing war and suffering.

Escaping the violence in South Sudan means leaving home

Conflict in South Sudan broke out December 15, fuelled by political tensions and decades of war. Despite a ceasefire agreement signed by South Sudan’s president and the opposition leader, fighting continues in parts of the country.

Over 350,000 people have fled into neighbouring countries, like Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan. The ongoing violence is separating children from their families and, as the rainy season begins, the spread of disease begins to threaten the health of those living in refugee camps. Plan has been working to address the immediate needs of vulnerable children and families in these host countries. To date, some of the ways we’ve helped include:

  • 5,561 people were provided with access to safe drinking water
  • 4,072 children were reached with critical children protection services
  • 23,139 hygiene kits have been distributed
  • And 6,818 children have been provided access to safe education
A fragile state uproots thousands in the Central African Republic
Staff wearing Plan t-shirts unload boxes of supplies at a refugee camp in Cameroon.

Plan staff members unloading vital aid from a vehicle at a refugee camp in Cameroon.

According to the United Nations, more than 20% of the population of the Central African Republic (CAR) has been uprooted by violence over the last several decades. The continuing unrest has displaced tens of thousands of Central Africans, many of whom have crossed the border into neighbouring countries, like Cameroon.

As the conflict worsened in CAR, more than 95,000 refugees arrived in Cameroon. Plan began working to support the influx of refugees entering the country, with a focus on child protection and water and sanitation. To date, Plan’s work has included:

  • Distributing hygiene kits to 2,113 families
  • Constructing 4 boreholes in one of the refugee camps
  • Distributing medication to prevent and treat malaria to 4 health centres
  • Constructing 5 child-friendly spaces (underway)
  • Building 11 latrines at mobile refugee sites
Civil unrest keeps thousands uneasy in Syria

For over 3 years, the people of Syria have been living in a state of conflict. In the last year, violence has intensified, separating families and destroying communities. It’s estimated that 6.5 million Syrians have been displaced, and more than 2.5 million people have fled the country, leaving them to seek refuge in neighbouring nations.

Plan’s partners on the ground are dispensing vital supplies, like water, food, blankets and medication. They are also providing essential emergency care for affected people by training staff at community hospitals, and by supplying medical equipment to these hospitals.

You can help support our life-saving work by donating to Plan’s emergency relief fund today.