Islamabad. 8 April: “Pakistan’s children deserve the right to a quality education and deserve the right to have enough to eat” said Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children, Jasmine Whitbread during a visit to Save the Children emergency response programs in Swat district.
Jasmine Whitbread is in Pakistan to visit communities in Swat, Buner and Lower Dir who have been affected by both the IDP crisis and the floods. “Millions of children have had to endure the trauma caused by the floods and the conflict in northern Pakistan. Unless their rights are protected and they have access to food, healthcare and quality education, many will face deprivation and neglect and they will be unable to realize their full potential” said Jasmine.
Save the Children has reached over 3.3 million flood-affected people throughout Pakistan since July last year. “We are working directly with the communities to help ensure that children and their families are safe and are protected against disease, hunger and abuse” added Jasmine. Save the Children’s emergency programs include projects in health, education, child protection and livelihoods support.
Throughout the crisis affected districts in Pakistan, Save the Children has established more than 500 child protection forums and 300 committees on child protection comprising of community members who work to ensure the safety of vulnerable children. Save the Children has also established child friendly spaces in flood affected communities which play a critical role in providing children with an opportunity to learn and play in a safe and secure environment.
Save the Children has launched its early recovery and rehabilitation strategy for the flood affected regions. It is a two year program which will focus on eight of the most flood affected districts throughout the country. The overall goal of the strategy is to make real and lasting change in the lives of children affected by the 2010 floods by nurturing child centered communities that support children’s immediate and long-term needs.
“Children in Pakistan continue to face issues such as early marriage, violence, sexual abuse, child labor, lack of education, poor health and food insecurity” said Jasmine. “Ensuring they receive appropriate and sufficient protection is vital. All children, everywhere, deserve special care and attention” she added.
Save the Children has been working in Pakistan since 1985 implementing emergency response and development programs with a unique focus on the needs and rights of children. Save the Children works in some of the most remote and challenging areas of the country to provide health and education opportunities to children in need and is considered a leader on maternal and newborn health, community mobilization, and disaster response. Save the Children has a strong research capacity and implements programs with operational research to identify evidence-based interventions that can be scaled up.
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