Armed conflict and natural disasters disproportionately affect children, often with long lasting effects. Many children are forced to flee their homes, get separated from their parents and/or caregivers, have to leave school, live in poverty, are traumatized and/or cut from accessing basic needs such as food, water, sanitation, shelter, and health care. Many children are exposed to trafficking and exploitation and child, early and forced marriage. Terre des Hommes provides care and protection to children and their families in emergencies.
Humanitarian Aid Coordinator
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The cause of emergency situations for which Terre des Hommes offers humanitarian aid usually concern natural disasters, such as the earthquake in Nepal in 2015, or acts of war like in the Middle East, Nigeria and Burkina Faso. However, medical emergencies may also constitute grounds for action, such as the impact of Covid-19. During times of crisis, Terre des Hommes works quickly to provide life-saving assistance to children and their families.
Even in the chaos of a crisis, our humanitarian action aid prevents the exploitation of children.
In humanitarian crises many children get separated from their family, get displaced, have to leave school, live in increasing poverty, get extremely traumatized and do not have access to - amongst other things - basic necessities such as food, water and medical care.
Often people make use of the chaotic environment and the high vulnerability of children as a result of a disaster to engage children in criminal activities, such as forced labour, sexual exploitation or early marriage.
Protecting these children - affected by natural (earthquakes, tsunamis) or man made disasters (armed conflicts, climate change) - from all forms of exploitation is our number 1 priority. We fight child exploitation even in the midst of chaos. Join our fight. Help us ensure our humanitarian action aid comes in time for the next crisis.
In humanitarian crises, family, community and governmental child protection systems (i.e. relatives, community members, processes, laws, behaviors and institutions that normally protect children) often become weakened or ineffective, which results in a protection vacuum for children that increases their vulnerability to all forms of exploitation.
Terre des Hommes offers child friendly spaces where children can play, and express and process their traumas under professional guidance and in a safe environment. The children learn about children’s rights, as well as practical issues such as hygiene. Psychosocial support is always available. If necessary, children and their parents are referred to professional psychological treatment. Terre des Hommes also provides information to parents and caregivers regarding children’s rights or issues such as nutrition and hygiene.
Depending on the situation, the first priority may be to provide children a safe haven by for example (re)building schools, or (re)building wells or medical dispensaries.
Working with other organisations is crucial in an emergency. Cooperation helps us deploy our emergency aid as quickly as possible. Often these partners are local organisations that well know their communities.
In the Netherlands, we work with partners through the Dutch Relief Alliance and the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). e also participate in joint-appeals humanitarian foundation Giro555. We share knowledge and resources within our Terre des Hommes International Federation. In times of need, we stand stronger together. Join our fight.
Medical crises, wars, natural disasters… we provide children emergency aid and protection worldwide.
It is the vision of TdH that children must be seen, heard and respected as important actors of change in their lives and the life of their families and communities, also in emergency situations. In 2020, we implemented or supported emergency projects in countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Kenya and Bangladesh.
Our activities focused on setting up child friendly spaces, providing psychosocial support to children and their families, providing awareness raising and capacity building on child rights among parents and local authorities. We also provided physical rehabilitation to people with disabilities, distributed food vouchers and strengthened water, sanitation and health services to those most in need.