UNICEF in Myanmar

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UNICEF is supporting children in Rakhine through its Field Office in the state capital Sittwe and a Sub-office in Maungdaw (northern Rakhine).
Rakhine is the poorest state in Myanmar and among the most vulnerable to disasters. Its long coastline to the Bay of Bengal makes it particularly vulnerable to cyclones and tsunamis. In August 2015, Cyclone Komen brought devastation to families everywhere in Rakhine, destroyed schools, houses, and hospitals. Children and their families across the state, including tens of thousands that remain displaced following the 2012 inter-communal violence, are lacking essential services and facilities.

Key facts about Rakhine:

Total Population: 3,788,807
Total Child Population (under 18): 1,390,768
Poverty Rate: 43.5%
Population figures are based on the 2014 Myanmar Census and include both enumerated and estimated populations not counted during the census. The Poverty Rate is based on the 2009-10 Integrated Household Living Conditions Assessment.

In all our programmes, humanitarian and development, UNICEF is working closely with the Rakhine State Government to improve education, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, and child protection services for all children living in Rakhine, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. Targeted humanitarian support to those displaced by communal violence as well as those affected by flooding across Rakhine is closely integrated into broader development programmes that reach all communities in Rakhine and address their shared vulnerabilities and development challenges. Starting in 2016, UNICEF is scaling up its support in education through its Whole-State Approach, a holistic capacity-building programme specifically tailored for the context of each state. Guided by UNICEF’s Rakhine State Plan for Children, developed in consultation with the Rakhine State authorities, UNICEF’s collaboration with the Rakhine authorities is achieving results by:

  • Developing the capacity of the Department of Social Welfare, the police and the judiciary to better protect the rights of children and respond to cases of violence, abuse and neglect as well as support victims of trafficking;
  • Supporting schools and temporary learning spaces for children across Rakhine through teacher trainings and essential learning materials supplies;
  • Assisting with the rehabilitation and improvement of water facilities and empowering communities build up sanitation facilities (community-led total sanitation approach).
    To better understand UNICEF’s work in Rakhine, read these stories about the shared dreams of different communities for better education, health and child protection for all children in Rakhine:


UNICEF support in Rakhine. Programmes by township. 




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