The humanitarian situation in Myanmar continues to pose significant challenges for children. In 2019, an estimated 460,000 children will require humanitarian assistance.1 Fighting and displacement continue in Kachin and Shan states; more than 10,000 people remain displaced and in camps in Kayin State;2 and overcrowded camps and ethnic tensions remain causes for concern in Rakhine State. Approximately 244,500 people are internally displaced and living in camps across the country.3 Following the exodus of over 700,000 Rohingya from Myanmar in late 2017,4 this population continues to face significant challenges, including lack of freedom of movement, discrimination and limited access to basic services, as well as tensions with other communities. In Kachin and Shan, intense fighting in 2018 led to a rise in the number of internally displaced people in those states. In Kachin, Kayin, Shan and Rakhine, UNICEF and partners lack consistent and unfettered access to affected populations, which has undermined the delivery of assistance. In Kachin, Kayin and Shan, as well as other areas, unexploded ordnance and landmines represent a significant risk to children, with a child injured or killed every three days.
In 2019, UNICEF will address the humanitarian needs of crisis-affected and displaced people in Rakhine, Kachin, Kayin and Shan states. As a cluster/sector lead agency,5 UNICEF will work with the Government, national and international nongovernmental organizations and civil society partners to provide critical life-saving and life-sustaining services in nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), child protection and education. These will include treatment for acute malnutrition, health services for women and children, access to safe water facilities, monitoring and case management of child protection concerns, evidence-based programming for adolescents and formal and non-formal education programmes. Services will target populations identified in the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), including internally displaced people in camps, stateless populations and other crisis-affected populations. UNICEF will continue to advocate for unfettered and consistent humanitarian access to ensure that services can be provided to those in need, in line with their basic human rights. Working at the inter-agency level, UNICEF will conduct natural disaster response planning and related activities throughout the country. When possible, durable solutions will be applied through the integration of humanitarian and development programmes.
Results from 2018
As of 31 October 2018, UNICEF had US$15.1 million available against the US$31.8 million appeal (60 per cent funded).6 In 2018, low achievement against planned targets was due to limited funding and bureaucratic impediments related to travel authorizations. Despite these constraints, UNICEF was able to achieve important results for children and their caregivers over the course of the year. As of 31 October, UNICEF and partners had reached nearly 93,000 people with access to health services, exceeding the original target by 28,000 people. Nearly 67,000 internally displaced and conflictaffected people were reached with critical water and sanitation services. To support education, UNICEF provided nearly 78,000 children—primarily displaced students and those affected by natural disasters—with emergency education and recreation materials. Nearly 86,000 people received mine risk education and nearly 179,000 people received mental health and psychosocial support. In nutrition, only 22 per cent of the 9,000 children under 5 years targeted with treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) were reached due to lack of funding and limited access for implementation, particularly in northern Rakhine State. UNICEF also supported cluster/sector coordination at the national and sub-national levels for nutrition, WASH, child protection and education.