For thousands of children in Syria, summer vacation is no longer about taking a break from their hectic school lives. On the contrary, with displacement and violence regularly interrupting normal classes, many children around the country used their summer break to visit school clubs and catch up on lost school days.
According to the latest UN statistics, of the total population affected by Typhoon Haiyan, an estimated 47,600 women are at risk of sexual violence. In the evacuation centres, an estimated 2,250 women are also at risk. We know that disasters impact men and women differently - but how can we get better at factoring this into account in international aid efforts?
As aid agencies mobilise to relieve suffering in the Philippines following the devastation wrought by super typhoon Haiyan, the impact of emergencies on women and girls will once again be thrown into sharp relief. As will the imperative of empowering women to develop their self-confidence, to speak up and tell their own stories as a means to increasing their protection against violence and abuse.
In Mali, where Plan International is working, there are numerous cases of how children are haunted by the mere sound of military vehicles. Marita is one such child. The first time anyone knew that she was suffering the after-effects of the conflict in northern Mali was when an ambulance passed by. She suddenly screamed, dashed across the yard into her house and hid in a corner shaking...