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Plan International COVID-19 emergency response: West and Central Africa overview (June 25, 2020)

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Dear friend,

Several countries across West and Central Africa are gradually lifting movement restrictions and authorising the resumption of classes, yet the COVID-19 pandemic and its detrimental impact on girls and boys is far from over! Plan International continues to be at the forefront of the Covid-19 response alongside governments, young people, girls, women and other stakeholders and is continuing its key role to ensure the well-being and resilience of girls and boys, their families and communities is kept high on everyone’s agendas. We know that women and girls play a key lead role in the fight against Covid-19. Nevertheless, the evidence that the burden of unpaid care work continues to fall disproportionally on girls and women is becoming overwhelming.

We also know that when the far-reaching food and nutrition insecurity situation worsens throughout West and Central Africa, it will again be girls and women being the ones that are hit the hardest. Plan International’s own Rapid Gender Assessments throughout the region have further highlighted that there are reported increases in domestic violence and in stress levels of children, increased risks of child early and forced marriage, and permanent school drop-outs for girls. Moreover, in a lot of contexts key information channels remain dominantly controlled by men: women have more limited direct access to information and when information is available it is not child and adolescent friendly.

Plan International stands for girls and with girls and other vulnerable groups. We aim to demonstrate and advocate for models that ensure girls and young women have access to support and spaces needed to reach their full potential. We invite you to discover the creative solutions we continue to put in place, together with partners and communities, to reach our ambition.