© UNICEF/NYHQ2008-0339/Dean

Children queue for food at a temporary camp for those displaced by Cyclone Nargis. An estimated 2.4 million people were affected by the cyclone and many children are still vulnerable to malnutrition, water shortages and water-borne diseases.


Cyclone Nargis brought an unprecedented wave of deaths and devastation to Myanmar: destroying schools, health facilities, water sources, homes and livelihoods, as well as separating families and leaving people vulnerable to hunger and disease. The UN estimates that 2.4 million people were affected. Although, in the months following the cyclone, considerable progress has been achieved, the need for humanitarian assistance remains huge, with many women and children unable to access a health facility; children still vulnerable to acute malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies; increased risk of future water shortages and outbreaks of waterborne diseases; slow progress in school rebuilding and provision of psychosocial support; and many children exposed to separation from their families, violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect.


UNICEF is the cluster lead for nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), education and child protection. UNICEF-supported programmes are expected to reach 1.5 million people in 2009, including 450,000 children.

Health and Nutrition: UNICEF will continue to revitalize maternal, neonatal and child health services through the provision of essential drugs and equipment; the training of health staff and the reconstruction of 100 damaged and collapsed health facilities. UNICEF will also continue to support community-based therapeutic and targeted feeding programmes, which will benefit all acutely malnourished children (estimated at up to 20,000) in the 12 townships at highest risk; and support micronutrient supplementation.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: UNICEF will continue to improve access to clean water and adequate sanitation through the construction/rehabilitation of ponds and traditional open wells for the benefit of 100,000 people; construct adequate sanitary facilities in 600 schools; and train government counterpart staff.

Education: UNICEF will implement the child-friendly school initiative in more than 1,000 schools, which will benefit 150,000 primary schoolchildren and will include the training of 4,500 teachers; reconstruct 10 schools and 5 early childhood development (ECD) centres; and distribute essential learning packages to 150,000 students.

Child Protection: UNICEF will provide care and support to some 70,000 affected vulnerable children and women, including support to 104 child-friendly spaces and 200 community-based child protection support groups.

Non-Food Items: UNICEF will provide non-food items (NFIs) to targeted vulnerable groups and preposition limited quantities of supplies as contingency preparedness.
Telecommunications: UNICEF will ensure that all UN agencies and NGOs have access to internet connectivity in accord with UNICEF’s role as co-lead of the telecommunications cluster.

Summary of UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2009*
Sector US$
Health and Nutrition 7,000,000
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene 4,000,000
Education 4,000,000
Child Protection 3,000,000
Non-Food Items 1,700,000
Telecommunications 300,000
Total*** 20,000,000**

* Funds received against this appeal will be used to respond to both the immediate and medium-term needs of children and women as outlined above. If UNICEF should receive funds in excess of the medium-term funding requirements for this emergency, UNICEF will use those funds to support other, underfunded emergencies.
** The total includes a maximum recovery rate of 7 per cent. The actual recovery rate on contributions will be calculated in accordance with UNICEF Executive Board Decision 2006/7 dated 9 June 2006.