Responding to emergencies

Providing life-saving support in emergencies

UNICEF Myanmar/2019/Nyan Zay Htet

The challenge

Wherever there is a crisis, UNICEF strives to reach the hardest-hit and most vulnerable children and families with life-saving and life-sustaining support in the shortest time possible. 

Myanmar is prone to regular climate-related hazards such as cyclones, floods, and droughts. Ongoing conflicts also require continual emergency response for affected populations. In 2019, the UN identified more than 940,000 vulnerable people in Kachin, Rakhine and Shan states in need of humanitarian support.

Children, the poor and the marginalized, are especially vulnerable during emergencies to disease, malnutrition, violence and disruptions to their safety and well-being that can have lasting negative impacts on their lives.

All children, no matter where they live or their circumstances, have the right to survive and thrive.

UNICEF Myanmar/2017/Patrick Brown

The solution

UNICEF works to ensure that children living in conflict situations, or those affected by natural disasters, can access the same rights as children everywhere else.

Our presence before, during and after emergencies helps ensure that critical services reach the most vulnerable populations with support when they need it most. 

Together with the Government and local and international partners, UNICEF is striving to provide vital services in health, nutrition, education, protection and water and sanitation to crisis-affected and hard-to-reach children and their caregivers in Kachin, Rakhine and Shan states.

UNICEF Myanmar/2019/Nyan Zay Htet

In 2018, over 189,000 children and adults benefitted from Mental Health and Psychosocial activities (MHPSS) sessions provided by UNICEF child protection partners through 478 safe spaces set up across camps and communities in the three conflict-affected states. A total of 47,198 children were newly involved in MHPSS activities.

With our support, micronutrient supplementation to tackle undernutrition, vaccinations, access to health care, opportunities for formal and non-formal learning, and improved water and sanitation facilities are reaching many of the most vulnerable children and populations.

UNICEF is leading the WASH Cluster and leads the Nutrition in Emergencies Sector, Child Protection in Emergencies sub-sector working group and is co-leading the Education in Emergencies Sector at both that national and subnational levels in Rakhine and Kachin States.  UNICEF, through these roles, participates in the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group in Yangon and relevant sub-national level coordination groups.

As a cluster lead agency, UNICEF works with the Government, national and international nongovernmental organizations and civil society partners to provide critical life-saving and life-sustaining services in nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), child protection and education. We continuously advocate for unimpeded humanitarian access to all areas where children are in need.