Millions Of East African Girls Flee Violence

By Maria Macharia

 MORE than 2,5 million girls have been forced to flee their homes across Eastern Africa.

They are in urgent need of protection, according to findings by World Vision, the humanitarian aid, development and advocacy organisation.

In observance of International Women's Day, participants march from the centre of Monrovia to the Temple of Justice, home of the Liberian Supreme Court, where they staged a peaceful sit-in protest against gender-based violence. UN Photo/Eric Kanalstein
 UN Photo/Eric Kanalstein

“We met dozens of girls across 10 countries who have been forced to abandon their education because they were driven from their homes due to conflict or climate change,” says Brenda Kariuki, World Vision’s Director of Advocacy in East Africa.

“Too many have been separated from their families and have faced neglect, abuse, exploitation or sexual violence.”

 The violence is said to be rife in countries such as Burundi Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

Stephen Omollo, World Vision’s Vice President for East Africa, said governments and humanitarians must ensure children, particularly girls, came first in responses to humanitarian situations.

“Girls who have fled their homes need to be able to go to school and have access to support to deal with the violence they may have witnessed or experienced,” Omollo added.

The report, launched by World Vision in Kenya, called on the international and national decision-makers to better protect children who have been displaced due to humanitarian crises and fragility.

Source: allafrica.com

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