East Asia and the Pacific
2014 Requirements: US$4,261,400
Eight of the world’s fifteen most emergency-prone countries are located in the East Asia and Pacific region, making it one of the most hazard-prone regions in the world. During the first half of 2014, a series of heavy rains and a volcano eruption hit Indonesia and the Pacific region, and in April, the Solomon Islands was hit by torrential rains, affecting ten per cent of the total population, or some 52,000 people (including 26,000 children). The Philippines continued to rebuild after the devastating impact of Typhoon Haiyan, which hit in November 2013, affecting millions of people. The combination of climate change, deforestation, population growth and urbanization in countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, China, Thailand, Vietnam and the Pacific Islands, suggest that in the coming years, more frequent and intense natural disasters are likely to have a greater impact on a larger number of people. Given the cyclical nature of disasters in the region, strengthening emergency preparedness and community resilience is critical. In addition to natural disasters, internal armed conflict and ethnic violence in Myanmar and the Philippines have led to the internal and/or cross border displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, chronic under nutrition has been a significant public health concern. The impact of humanitarian crises in the region puts a heavy strain on families, communities and social systems, and leaves children and women among the most vulnerable.
Results 2014 (January to June)
During the first half of 2014, UNICEF’s East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO), in close collaboration with 14 UNICEF country offices and partners, supported efforts to build regional and country-level capacity in emergency preparedness, enhance coordination of efficient and effective response to humanitarian crises, support community resilience, and strengthen risk management. In early 2014, UNICEF in close coordination with the Government of Cambodia continued to respond to the flood emergency that took place there in late 2013, including through procuring and distributing emergency water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) relief items and rehabilitating WASH facilities. In China, following the earthquake Sichuan Province, UNICEF provided technical support to the Government in the earthquake-affected areas of Ya’an prefecture, including by establishing two child-friendly spaces and providing psychosocial support to over 5,500 children and 1,500 caregivers. UNICEF and partners supported governments in the Pacific to respond to flood emergencies caused by cyclones in Tonga (January) and the Solomon Islands (April), including by deploying WASH, nutrition and education cluster coordinators to affected islands, supporting procurement and delivery of emergency supplies (such as water purification kits and therapeutic milk), and ensuring access to essential services for some 50,000 affected people (half of whom are children), living both in and outside of evacuation centers.
UNICEF’s regional office worked to enhance regional and country-level capacity in emergency preparedness and response, disaster risk reduction and peace-building through regional workshops and the provision of country-specific technical support, including to the Democratic Republic of Korea and China. EAPRO also facilitated and/or contributed to cluster-specific trainings on WASH and child protection, and provided sector-specific technical support in WASH, education,1 nutrition and child protection to UNICEF country offices in the Philippines, Myanmar, Indonesia and Vietnam. Although governments in the region have invested in and accrued considerable capacity in emergency response, many have requested humanitarian support from UNICEF and other external actors to complement their relief efforts, especially for monsoon-related floods, earthquakes or volcano eruptions.
UNICEF is appealing for US$4.3 million to respond to the humanitarian needs of children and their families in East Asia and the Pacific for 2014. As of 30 June 2014, a total of US$ 3.6 million (85 per cent) was available against the 2014 appeal. Additional funding is critical to continue strengthening the technical and coordination capacity of UNICEF and national partners in the region to support children affected by emergencies. Additional funding will also go to supporting countries that are not included in a separate chapter of Humanitarian Action for Children 2014 and/or may not benefit from inter-agency flash appeals to respond to small- or medium-scale emergencies.
*Includes emergency funds carried over from 2013 and recovery costs. Out of the total amount available, US$2,643,524 was received in 2014.
1 Education activities were funded with regular resources.