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Missing the Emergency: Shifting the Paradigm for Relief to Adolescent Girls

“Missing the Emergency: Shifting the Paradigm for Relief to Adolescent Girls.”

Please download the full report here.

During emergencies, adolescent girls face heightened risk of personal safety violations and human rights abuses. They may forego meals, engage in unsafe livelihoods, assume disproportionate levels of domestic burden, or marry early to relieve their families’ financial responsibilities. Although they are integral to their families’ survival and face harsh realities, humanitarian response — as currently designed — typically neglects them as a population. A paradigm shift is critical to ensure that emergency response does not have adverse consequences to their emotional, physical, or psychosocial development.

The Coalition for Adolescent Girls convened a two-part consultation in July and November 2011, in which experts in humanitarian response, child protection, and gender issues collectively articulated the urgent need for new humanitarian strategies around adolescent girls.

The group defined the current contours of practice, discourse, and advocacy around this population in order to map out the following actions needed to shift the emergency response paradigm:

I.          Reinforce What We Know and Identify What We Must Learn.

II.         Prioritize a Learning Agenda.

III.        Increase Donor Engagement to Target Adolescent Girl Populations at the
            Funding Level.

IV.       Build Capacity in the Humanitarian Sector to Target Adolescent Girls.

V.        Consider Adolescent Girls. Engage Them.  Enable Them to Lead.

The result is a call to action in “Missing the Emergency: Shifting the Paradigm for Relief to Adolescent Girls.” Adolescent girls cannot wait for action from the humanitarian community. Each day in emergency settings increases their stakes for survival and well-being. Left only to rely on their own resilience, they represent, in the words of the Haiti Adolescent Girls Network, the “missed emergency.”

 Source: Coalition for Adolescent Girls

The Coalition for Adolescent Girls was initiated in 2005 by the United Nations Foundation and the Nike Foundation, and has been joined by more than 30 leading international organizations, to bring fresh perspectives, diverse resources and concrete solutions to the challenges facing adolescent girls in the Global South. When girls are educated, healthy, and financially literate, they will play a key role in ending generations of poverty. The Coalition's supporters are committed to creating lasting change for communities in the Global South by driving investments to adolescent girls, leveraging existing initiatives, and mobilizing new allies on behalf of adolescent girls.

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