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Aid Agencies Must Do More To Address Girls’ Needs In Disaster Response, Report Says

A new report from Plan U.K., titled “In Double Jeopardy: Adolescent Girls and Disasters,” “finds that during disasters and emergencies girls become even more vulnerable to sexual abuse and exploitation, early pregnancy, violence and disease, but that charities and NGOs aren’t meeting their needs, preferring a ‘one size fits all’ response,” The Observer/Guardian reports. “The report — part of the charity’s Because I Am a Girl campaign — is to be published this week ahead of U.N. International Day of the Girl Child on Friday,” the newspaper writes, adding, “It includes conversations with children in developing countries and with humanitarian workers across the world, and finds that measures to combat sexual- and gender-based violence in refugee camps — such as separate toilets for men and women — are being applied inconsistently.” The newspaper adds, “Plan U.K. is calling on aid agencies to train and recruit more female workers and to consult girls in all stages of disaster response,” as well as provide “more targeted services for girls in education and sexual and reproductive health — and more funding to help protect them” (McVeigh, 10/5).