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Children and Humanitarian Assistance in South Asia - issue no. 136, September 2015



The enhanced vulnerability of children to the detrimental impacts of disasters and emergencies now qualifies as conventional wisdom in various humanitarian circles. Almost 70% of the affected population of a disaster or extreme event are children. Consequently, a lot of government and humanitarian agencies have taken up the cause of protecting and promoting the rights of children to safety and security.

The theory and praxis of humanitarian assistance in relation with child rights and protection are undergoing dynamic changes as well. New ideas such as safe schools, child centered disaster risk reduction, child centered risk assessment, etc. are gaining traction in the field of disaster risk reduction (DRR). The rise of such child centric perspectives has great implications for the field of humanitarian assistance in South Asia. This issue of focuses on the theme of 'Children and Humanitarian Assistance in South Asia'.

South Asia consistently ranks as one of the most disaster prone regions of the world as a result of which a lot of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations are concentrated in this region. However, children which comprise a third of the total 1.72 billion people in South Asia are rarely engaged as active stakeholders in the dialogue around disaster risk reduction.

This issue highlights the need and techniques of engaging children as active stakeholders in shaping DRR policies and practices in South Asia. An inclusive approach to DRR which makes the voices of children count would make humanitarian assistance and disaster relief more effective and efficient in the region. This issue is a must read for all interested to know about the role children can play in risk reduction strategies in South Asia. – Kshitij Gupta, AIDMI