In all emergencies, violence against women and girls increases, including sexual assault, domestic violence and rape.
That’s why, in emergency camps in Somaliland, we are distributing whistles — and members of the community are told that if they hear the sound of the whistle at night, they should go outside and see whether there is a problem.
One of the biggest challenges women and girls face in humanitarian crises is the lack of proper toilets and sanitation.
With no privacy, women may even avoid using the toilet by day — instead going before sunrise and after sunset, under cover of darkness, putting them at greater risk of attack.
There is also little lighting in the camps, making the hours of sunset unsafe for women.
That’s why ActionAid distributes torches in emergencies, so women can feel safer moving about after dark.
In a crisis, one of the biggest threats to life is the spread of disease, often caused by contaminated water and lack of sanitation.
That’s why ActionAid distributes soap in an emergency, and trains communities in handwashing and hygiene practices, to save lives and stop the spread of disease.
Managing their periods safely, and with dignity, can be one of the biggest challenges facing women and girls in crisis.
So we distribute clean underwear and, often, sanitary protection, to support women and girls who have little else.
In an emergency, women and girls often have had to flee their homes with nothing.
We distribute clothing so women can clothe themselves, and their families, with dignity.
Many women in emergency camps give birth without medical facilities, or even a midwife to help, and have no supplies to take care of themselves and their baby after childbirth.
That’s why we include items like baby lotion in essentials kits, as well as toothpaste, toothbrushes and shampoo.
How you can help
This Christmas, a regular gift of just £7 a month can help to provide an essentials kit for a woman or girls living in a hidden emergency. Please donate today.