Map of East Asia and the Pacific
UNICEF photo: School Director Naek Sel points at a house on a map of the local community. “During the floods we created a map of the village and set up temporary learning spaces in teachers’ homes on higher ground,” he says. © UNICEF Cambodia/2012/Andy Brown School Director Naek Sel points at a house on a map of the local community. “During the floods we created a map of the village and set up temporary learning spaces in teachers’ homes on higher ground,” he says.

East Asia and the Pacific

Updated January 2014

2014 Requirements: US$3,582,200

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East Asia and the Pacific is one of the most hazard-prone regions in the world, with eight of the world’s 15 most emergency-prone countries. With the effects of population growth, climate change, deforestation and urbanization occurring in the Philippines, Indonesia, China, Thailand, Vietnam and the Pacific Islands, a trend of more frequent and intense natural disasters is expected in the region. In addition, hundreds of thousands of people in the region, especially in Myanmar and the Philippines, are displaced within or across borders due to internal conflicts, ethnic violence and/or social exclusion. In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, chronic undernutrition has been a significant public health concern. In all situations, children and women are among the most vulnerable, they experience emergency situations as a fact of life and their health, security and well-being are compromised when families, communities and basic social infrastructure are destroyed. Therefore, UNICEF is working to satisfy the basic needs and fundamental rights of the most vulnerable children, including children who are disaster survivors, refugees, internally displaced and affected by armed conflict.

Planned results for 2014

Results from 2013

UNICEF appealed for US$4,252,000 for 2013, and as of the end of October 2013, a total of US$ 1,719,115, or 40 per cent of requirements, had been received in contributions. These funds enabled EAPRO to build regional and country capacity in emergency preparedness and response. UNICEF also took on resilience building initiatives, including disaster risk reduction and peace-building initiatives. Specifically, EAPRO organized regional emergency preparedness and response trainings and fora discussions, updated the online Early Warning, Early Action system with country offices and hosted webinars on key topics including humanitarian performance monitoring. The fora discussion, which was attended by 30 participants from 12 country offices and focused on resilience and regional partnerships, provided a framework for knowledge exchange and capacity building and helped to define program concepts. EAPRO delivered trainings and provided technical support to further strengthen capacity in overall emergency response, preparedness and disaster risk reduction in the Pacific Islands countries, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam. EAPRO facilitated or contributed to cluster-specific trainings, including on WASH and child protection, in the Philippines and Myanmar. Many of the colleagues trained were included in a regional rapid response roster that was mobilized for emergencies in the Philippines, Myanmar and the Marshall Islands. Finally, communication for development initiatives on disease outbreaks and disaster risk reduction, which aimed to build resilience and raise awareness on measures to reduce the risks of vulnerable groups, particularly children affected by disasters, were developed, published and posted on the regional website.

The funds also allowed EAPRO to support emergency response in several countries. In Cambodia, emergency WASH relief items, including soap, jerry cans and chlorine, were distributed through the Government to the 10,000 people affected. In China, UNICEF supported the Government to establish child-friendly spaces and distribute WASH equipment in the earthquake-affected areas in Yamane Prefecture of Sichuan Province. As a result, affected children and community members received better access to community-based, child-friendly protection and welfare services in safe and supportive environments. The funding also enabled support to WASH and nutrition emergency interventions in flood-affected areas in Indonesia, as well as for tsunami response in the Solomon Islands through the Pacific Islands Country Office. When Typhon Haiyan hit the Philippines, EAPRO immediately deployed emergency specialists and regional advisors in the areas of WASH, child protection, nutrition and operations (i.e. finance, human resources and information and communication technologies) to reinforce the country’s capacity to respond.

In close cooperation with the 14 country offices, the East Asia and the Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO) will work on all aspects of risk management, in relation to both conflicts and natural hazards, to build resilience, reduce the vulnerability of children, strengthen emergency preparedness capacity and enhance the coordination of efficient and effective responses to disasters across the region. Specifically, EAPRO will support country offices to enhance their emergency preparedness and risk reduction capacity in a holistic manner, in order to build the resilience of children, families, communities and governments. EAPRO will provide guidance to country offices to improve the alignment of development programmes and humanitarian action in policy, planning and implementation of risk-informed programs. Other capacity development activities will include technical support to improve Early Warning, Early Action systems; training on emergency preparedness and response with simulation exercises in country and field offices; and operationalization of humanitarian performance monitoring. EAPRO will also work with country offices and governments to facilitate adequate and swift emergency response in line with UNICEF’s Core Commitment for Children in Humanitarian Action, particularly in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health, HIV and AIDS, nutrition, education and child protection. In cases of major disasters that surpass country capacities, EAPRO will complement national capacity by providing surge staff supports. Efforts to build resilience, emergency preparedness and response capacity within countries will be supported by technical cooperation partnerships with regional or sub-regional partners and coordination platforms such as regional government networks (e.g. the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Secretariat for the Pacific Community and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee). Finally, regional knowledge management for humanitarian action will be reinforced through the creation of learning and exchange opportunities for country offices, documenting best practices and lessons learned and conducting regional-level research on emerging topics (e.g. communication for development in emergencies). These efforts will be put to good use during future support efforts for children in need.

Although many governments in the region have invested and accrued considerable capacity in emergency response, many governments are also requesting that country offices complement their relief efforts during emergency situations each year, especially for monsoon-related floods, earthquakes or volcano eruptions. In every country, UNICEF will continue to support capacity development for the relevant ministries and other partners to bolster emergency preparedness, and will also continue to contribute to emergency situations through adequate and coherent cluster coordination and joint action.

Funding requirements

EAPRO is requesting US$3,582,200 to carry out its planned regional activities in resilience-building, disaster risk reduction, preparedness and emergency response. The budgeted amount includes US$2 million to respond to situations in the region that are not included in a separate chapter of 2014 Humanitarian Action for Children and may not benefit from inter-agency flash appeals to respond to small- or medium-sized emergencies. The funding is also critical to continuing to strengthen the technical and coordination capacity of country offices in the region and their national partners to support children affected by emergencies in the areas outlined in UNICEF’s Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action: WASH, health, HIV and AIDS, nutrition, education and child protection.