New plan to address significant needs of children in Rakhine State
10 June 2014 - Following misreporting in some media UNICEF wishes to clarify the following:
On 4th June, UNICEF launched a two year plan to address the long term needs of children in Rakhine State. Children living in Rakhine are more likely to suffer from chronic malnutrition, less likely to attend primary school and reach required levels of achievements and less likely to access adequate water and sanitation facilities than children living in other parts of the Union.
Following the presentation of the new Rakhine development plan to local partners, the Minister of Local Security asked UNICEF to apologize for using the word “Rohingya”. UNICEF explained the term was used in an oral presentation and this was an oversight, as UNICEF had no intention of engaging in a discussion on sensitive issue of ethnicity at that forum. The term "Rohingya" has been used to identify one community living in Rakhine in numerous UN reports, including by the UN Secretary General, when referring to the political and humanitarian rights of minorities, to self-identification.
UNICEF is governed by a non-political mandate to work for all children especially the most vulnerable and marginalized - whether in Rakhine State or across Myanmar and the region - no matter what their ethnicity, their origin, their religion or language.
UNICEF has worked in Myanmar for over 60 years and is committed to continuing its support local authorities and communities as well as through the Government to address the most pressing development needs of Myanmar's most neglected children and families.