In Myanmar, children and their families remain highly vulnerable, especially in conflict-affected areas. Provisional figures show that in 2020, approximately 905,000 people will need protection, over 870,000 will need access to safe water and sanitation, 255,000 will need education and 10,800 will need to be treated for severe acute malnutrition (SAM). The situation in Rakhine State is increasingly complex. In 2019, fighting between the Myanmar Army and the Arakan Army led to the displacement of 30,000 people, in addition to the 128,000 people internally displaced since 2012 and the 470,000 stateless people in need of humanitarian support. In Kachin State, the situation remains relatively stable, though 100,000 people remain internally displaced and are living in camps. In northern Shan State, short-term displacement continued in 2019. Though fewer than 10,000 people are living in displacement camps in northern Shan, many have been displaced multiple times, exacerbating their vulnerabilities. In these environments, children, particularly girls, are vulnerable to exploitation, sexual and gender-based violence, neglect, family separation, risky migration and abuse. Cramped camp conditions heighten these vulnerabilities, and limited access to basic services increases risks of communicable disease transmission. Children face additional risks from the increasing use of improvised explosive devices and landmines.
In 2020, UNICEF will continue to meet the needs of internally displaced people and other conflict-affected populations through the provision of supplies and technical assistance, while improving accountability to affected populations and the implementation of durable solutions. UNICEF will continue to provide assistance in Rakhine, Chin, Kachin, Shan and Kayin states – including to address gender- and disability-specific needs – in line with the priorities identified by cluster/sector leads. UNICEF will work to establish humanitarian and development linkages while supporting authorities and local populations to strengthen capacities, identify risks and build resilience. UNICEF's core activities will focus on preventing and treating SAM; providing nutrition support for pregnant and breastfeeding women; supporting access to health services; addressing gender-based violence; monitoring and reporting on six grave violations of children's rights; ensuring access to safe water and sanitation; and fostering learning opportunities for children aged 3 to 17 years. Cross-sector programming will emphasize early childhood care and development and adolescent-focused education and protection activities. UNICEF will continue to advocate for unfettered access to all in need, and will address vulnerability throughout the country through risk-informed response and programming.