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Disasters and Emergencies

Helping Children in Disasters and Emergencies

Flooded house

We’ve responded to 16 disastersacross Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East since July 2016

children in school

We’re helping Syrian refugee childrenand their families in Egypt with safety, education and psychosocial needs


Our teams are working to reach90,000 Rohingya refugees who have fled violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state

How we respond in an emergency

We help children and communities before and after disasters and emergencies strike by: 

  • responding when emergencies occur by meeting communities’ immediate survival needs, including water, food, shelter and healthcare, with a focus on the particular needs of children and families 
  • supporting girls and boys to overcome trauma and fear and protecting children from abuse and exploitation through psychosocial support, child-friendly spaces and the provision of education in emergencies
  • supporting the long-term recovery of communities, addressing the root causes of vulnerability and making sure that children are fully involved in the process
  • investing in young people’s knowledge and skills to better prepare for and prevent future disasters - saving lives and minimising loss and damage
  • strengthening local governments’ and service providers’ capacity to deliver child-centred disaster risk management 
  • influencing local, national and global policies to ensure children’s rights are met in emergencies.

Our programmes have been funded by the UK Government (DFID), the European Union (ECHO) and the generosity of the British public. 

Support Children in Conflict – Syrian Refugees

Supporting Children in Emergencies

Child Protection

Child protection is central to our work. Our disasters and emergency work addresses all aspects of child rights, including the rights to survival, protection and development. We respond to and prevent abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence against children. Our work in disasters prioritises providing children with safe spaces, education and emotional support. 

Young refugees enjoy a reading session in Ethiopia.
Young refugees enjoy a reading session. In Ethiopia, we're constructing inclusive schools where young people – including South Sudanese refugees and local Ethiopian children – can receive a quality education.

Supporting young people displaced by conflict

Thanks to funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we’re supporting young people displaced by conflict across East Africa.

We’re providing essential items including clothing, soap, mattresses and blankets, and creating safe spaces for young people where they can discuss the issues affecting them and learn essential life skills.

We're also training parents, teachers and community leaders to protect children from psychological and physical harm, and training local child protection workers to ensure unaccompanied and vulnerable children receive the care they need.

Bringing Smiles to Children in the Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Phillippines and displaced 6 million people. Following the disaster, we set up child-friendly spaces to keep children safe, off the streets, help them overcome trauma and provide a free space for learning and play.

Nutritional Wellbeing of Children in Nepal

Nutritional Wellbeing of Children in Nepal

In a country already suffering high rates of child malnutrition (one in two children) even before the earthquake, the impact of the disaster has worsened the health conditions and wellbeing of children in Nepal. We’re bringing mums together to improve the nutritional well-being of children in Nepal.

Preparing Communities for Future Disasters

The number of children affected by disasters and emergencies is expected to multiply threefold over the next decade due to climate change, environmental degradation, poverty and population growth, making it essential that communities become better prepared for disasters in hazard-prone areas.  

We work to strengthen the resilience of at-risk communities, enabling them to better provide for the safety and well-being of their children. We promote an innovative child-centred approach to disaster risk reduction that harnesses the energy and ideas of children and young people to work towards making lives safer and communities more resilient to disasters.

Zin Zin Htwe is standing up for equal pay
Zin Zin Htwe is standing up for equal pay

Preparing Myanmar for Climate Extremes

A new programme is set to help 300,000 people in Myanmar cope with climate extremes and disasters. The programme will prioritise women and children as key drivers of community resilience and development and empower them to realise and stand up for their rights.

Involving Children and Young People

We believe that children, who are among the most affected by disasters and often the least consulted, have the right to participate in helping rebuild their communities, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. We work to increase the participation of children and young people in the planning, implementation and evaluation process of our emergency work. We also advocate with, and on behalf of children, at national, regional and global levels to ensure that their needs and voices are heard by decision-makers.

'We Tell People They Shouldn’t Be Afraid'

Abibatu, 16, is a girls’ rights activist for Plan and lost her father and brothers to Ebola. Through our youth advocacy work, Abibatu speaks about Ebola on the radio and tells people they shouldn’t be afraid of survivors. 

Our work helps children take an active role in recovering from emergencies. 


Help Us Get Life-Saving Aid to Children Fleeing Syria’s Brutal Conflict

Support our disaster work

Help Us Get Life-Saving Aid to Children in Emergencies

Working in partnership

DEC-Disasters Emergency Committee


Plan International UK is a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee, an umbrella organisation that brings together UK aid agencies to tackle major humanitarian emergencies. 

The DEC unites the efforts of its member agencies (13 UK-registered charities) during major disasters by directing the public to a joint fundraising appeal. It aims to save lives by maximising money raised and ensuring funds are spent in the most effective and transparent way possible. We joined the DEC in 2011, becoming the first agency to join the umbrella organisation. Our membership reflects our long-term strategic commitment to both disaster response and disaster risk reduction.

UK Aid logo

UK Aid

The Department for International Development (DFID) is the branch of the UK Government responsible for delivering overseas aid. DFID supports a number of our resilience programmes and emergency responses.

European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department


Our disaster risk-reduction and response programmes in Asia, Africa and the Americas, is supported by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Office (ECHO). 

Plan International UK is a member of the Start Network

Start Network

Plan International UK is a member of Start Network - 42 national and international aid agencies/NGOs are leading for change in humanitarian aid. The network aims to create a new humanitarian economy -  a system that reduces the power of centralised institutions and bureaucrats and gives more control to those on the front line of every crisis – and to this end it operates a number of innovative aid programmes.