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UNHCR warns of risks of gender-based violence



United Nations

– Worsening socio-economic conditions, new and ongoing conflicts and a shortage of humanitarian funds are increasing the risk of gender-based violence for forcibly displaced women and girls, the United Nations Agency for Human Rights said here on Friday. Refugees (UNHCR).

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Marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, UNHCR said in a statement that a “toxic mix of crises” is having a devastating effect on forcibly displaced people, felt all over the world. the world. , but women and girls suffer especially.

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“Displaced women and girls are often the most vulnerable to shocks, given the loss of assets and livelihoods, the disruption of community safety nets, and their frequent exclusion from education and other national social protection,” UNHCR said.

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He added that among refugee populations in Algeria, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Niger, Tanzania, Uganda, the Republic of the Congo and Zambia, UNHCR has reported severe nutrition problems, including malnutrition. acute, growth retardation and anemia.

In eastern and southern Africa, he said, more than three-quarters of refugees have seen their food rations cut and are unable to meet their basic needs. Inside Syria, 1.8 million people in displacement camps suffer severe food insecurity, while nine out of 10 Syrian refugees in Lebanon cannot afford food and essential services.

In the Americas, half of those forcibly displaced eat just two meals a day, and three-quarters reduce the quantity or quality of their food, according to the UNHCR statement.

The agency’s data also showed that major deteriorations in food security are projected in Yemen and the Sahel, with millions of internally displaced people in countries like Somalia and Afghanistan living in situations where 90 percent of the population has no access. to enough food.

“Reports of girls being forced into marriage to allow the family to buy food are especially shocking. In East and the Horn of Africa, child marriages are increasing as a way of easing pressure on household income,” she warned. UNHCR statement. and added that the risks of sexual violence are also exacerbated by the drought there, as women and girls are forced to walk longer distances to collect water and firewood. ■


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