Social policy and child rights monitoring
Reducing vulnerability to poverty and deprivation
UNICEF data and research underpins how we design and implement interventions to support children, families and communities.
In Myanmar we work to identify gaps and areas for improvement in maternal and child health, nutrition, education and water and sanitation — and in children’s rights.
Many children and families in Myanmar have faced a long struggle to afford basic services such as health care – and the pandemic, which remains a significant threat, has led to increasing poverty and reduced access to services.
UNICEF data published in early 2020 revealed that:
- nearly one third of children in Myanmar lived in poor households
- a further 34 per cent of children lived in economically insecure households, likely to be pushed into poverty by any economic, health or social shock.
The military takeover on 1 February 2021 has deepened the crisis. Children and women are hit hardest by increasing poverty and exclusion. Their needs are urgent.
- UNICEF research also reveals evidence for the need to promote children’s rights, including the right of children with disabilities to fully participate in society and the right to birth registration.
- Despite significant progress, the birth of one million children under five (almost 20 per cent) has not been registered.
UNICEF is monitoring the continuing effects of COVID-19 and the impact of the current crisis on children and families. This data informs our efforts to protect children from the worst impacts of rising poverty and vulnerability, and to support family and community resilience.
Meeting humanitarian needs
This is a rapidly evolving humanitarian environment, and we are targeting support at 150,000 girls and boys aged 2–5 across the country and 75,000 under-fives with disabilities. Our special focus for this work is on Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Rakhine and Shan States and Mandalay and Yangon Regions.
With partners, we are coordinating the roll out of child cash grant to supplement family income and pay for the basic needs of children, including their access to essential social services.
Pilot health insurance scheme
UNICEF is also piloting an emergency health microinsurance scheme for children and pregnant women. The first pilot began in April 2021 in informal settlements in Yangon’s Hlaing Thay Yar and Shwe Pyi Thar townships, currently under martial law.
The aim is to provide 10,000 beneficiaries with a package of services including health information, medical consultations, outpatient referral and cash subsidies to cover hospitalization costs for 12 months.
Registration for better life chances
In 2020, UNICEF set up a pilot registration and certification programme for 300,000 children with disabilities in Kayin State and Yangon and Bago Regions.
With UNICEF support, more than 3.3 million children’s birth records have been permanently archived in the Vital Registration E-Platform, giving them the chance of better protection in later life.
Continuing to face the challenges
During this time of crisis, UNICEF is determined to continue to support the country’s most vulnerable children and communities. We have 70 years’ experience of working in Myanmar in times of both calm and crisis. This means we can adapt our programmes quickly and mobilize our extensive network of partners to deliver results—efficiently, and at scale.
In all these initiatives, UNICEF remains focused on the children and communities most in need.