Plan International Australia welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcement of an additional $500m investment in economic development, health and security in South East Asia.
“COVID-19 has had a devastating social and economic impact on our neighbours in South East Asia” said Plan International Australia CEO, Susanne Legena.
“Children, particularly, girls have been some of the hardest hit. With so many girls out of school, child and early forced marriage is on the rise in the region, particularly in countries such as Indonesia.”
“Girls are also facing a ‘shadow pandemic’ of gender based violence both online and offline. The Government of the Philippines reported an alarming spike in cybersex trafficking of children since the pandemic – with 280,000 cases recorded between 1 March and 24 May 2020.”
The Australian Government reaffirming its commitment to South East Asia is critically important for the economic stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.
“We hope that this is the beginning of a continued investment in the region that will address some of the hardest issues that children, especially girls are facing right now, including returning to school, staying free of gender based violence and ending early and forced marriage.”
For further comment contact Plan International Australia Media and Ambassador Manager James Norman – 0451291775