Emergencies

There for every child in times of emergency

Children in Sanamxai district, Attapeu province during in the series flood emergency
UNICEF Laos/2018/Saykoson

Humanitarian action for children

During emergencies, children’s health, security and well-being are compromised as families and communities are broken up and basic social infrastructure is destroyed. Temporary shelters often become permanent homes in which children have no access to education, health and other services.

Lao PDR is a particularly flood-prone country. In July 2018, around 13,000 people were affected by a series of floods in the Southern Province of Attepeu. UNICEF responded quickly by delivering health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education and child protection support to those affected.

Protecting the most vulnerable

One of UNICEF Lao PDR’s main missions is to fulfil the basic needs and fundamental rights of the most vulnerable children, including survivors of natural disasters, refugees and internally displaced children, and children affected by armed conflict.

UNICEF’s Core Commitment for Children identifies life-saving interventions and critical minimum basic services during the first several weeks of an emergency, as well as longer-term activities that support sustainable reconstruction and development.

In humanitarian situations, UNICEF Lao PDR coordinates with the Government and partners to provide life-saving support such as drinking water, medical supplies, sanitation and therapeutic food, as well as awareness-raising campaigns and training.

UNICEF also ensures that children are protected and their education is not interrupted, by creating child-friendly spaces and temporary learning spaces.

Protecting every child in Lao PDR

UNICEF works closely with the Government and partners during and even before emergencies to ensure communities are able to adequately respond and reduce the level of risk they may face.

Through our holistic approach of ‘resilience building’, UNICEF Lao PDR aims to integrate development and humanitarian action and promote risk-informed programming and planning.

We do this through child-centred risk assessments that incorporate natural hazards, climate change and conflict sensitivity. This helps improve the prediction and prevention of emergencies, particularly recurrent disasters, and prepare communities to cope with them should they occur.