Women and children most vulnerable in African crises

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The East and Southern Africa region is home to humanitarian crises that are having a devastating effect on the health, dignity and rights of women and girls.

Over a decade, an estimated 7.4 million people have been displaced by intercommunal violence and protracted armed conflicts. Of the 4.5 million of the total 7.4 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), up to 80 per cent of whom have been on the move for more than 10 years and are suffering from extreme poverty and insecurity. The majority of these are women, young people and children.

In the Horn of Africa region, more than 13 million people are affected, 9.5 million of whom are IDPs and nearly 4 million are refugees, mostly from South Sudan.

More than 44 million people in East and Southern Africa are presently food insecure, nearly 36 million of them severely so.

In all these humanitarian crises, women and girls are especially vulnerable to gender-based violence and exploitation. Their day-to-day activities – such as looking for food and water for the family, collecting firewood, attending the market, or engaging in other household duties – more often than not further expose them to abduction, exploitation, and abuse.

And humanitarian crises dramatically elevate risks to the lives of pregnant women and newborn babies.

[UN Population Fund]

This entry was posted in , by Grant Montgomery.

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