BANGKOK, 6 February 2017 – As part of its annual global humanitarian appeal, UNICEF is seeking $42 million to deliver lifesaving aid for children in emergencies in two countries in the East Asia and Pacific region. The two East Asian countries that feature in the 2017 Humanitarian Action for Children report are DPR Korea and Myanmar, where children are affected by conflict, food shortages or natural disaster.
Globally, almost one in four of the world’s children lives in a country affected by conflict or disaster. UNICEF estimates up to 7.5 million children will require assistance just to avoid severe acute malnutrition, including almost half a million children in each of northeast Nigeria and Yemen. The agency’s 2017 appeal totals $3.3 billion, to be used to provide children with access to safe water, nutrition, education, health and protection in 48 countries.
“War, natural disaster and climate change are driving ever more children from their homes, exposing them to violence and disease,” said Karin Hulshof, UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Director. “UNICEF is dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children from natural disasters, conflicts and other crises.”
The appeal seeks support to provide essential medicines to more than 2 million children in DPR Korea, as well as funds to support assistance for other urgent initiatives including access to decent nutrition and clean water, and to safe sanitation and better hygiene. In August 2016, heavy rains from Typhoon Lionrock in North Hamgyong Province resulted in widespread flooding and the destruction of infrastructure, livestock and crops, affecting more than 600,000 people. Children, pregnant women and lactating mothers face increased risks of water-borne and communicable disease. Last year, the number of children suffering from acute malnutrition and in need of urgent life-saving treatment quadrupled in flood-affected areas from 500 to 2,000 per month.
In Myanmar, protracted crises in three states continue to threaten at least 220,000 internally displaced people. Children need urgent humanitarian assistance in Rakhine State, especially Rohingya children, in Kachin State and in Shan State. Compounding the protracted crises are issues related to religious and ethnic discrimination, exploitation, chronic poverty, vulnerability to natural disasters, statelessness, trafficking and humanitarian access. UNICEF is appealing for funds to meet the basic needs of some 127,000 of the country’s most vulnerable children. The money will be used by UNICEF and its partners to provide some 12,500 children aged 6 to 59 months affected by severe acute malnutrition with life-saving treatment; 75,000 people (30,000 of them children) with access to clean water for drinking, cooking and safe sanitation facilities as well as information about proper hygiene practices; and to provide some 127,000 children with access psychosocial support.
In the first ten months of 2016, as a result of UNICEF’s support for children in emergencies around the world, some:
- 13.6 million people had access to safe water;
- 9.4 million children were vaccinated against measles;
- 6.4 million children accessed some form of education;
- 2.2 million children were treated for severe acute malnutrition.
Notes to Editors:
The Humanitarian Action for Children 2017 appeal can be found here: www.unicef.org/HAC2017
For DPR Korea: https://www.unicef.org/appeals/dprk.html
For Myanmar: https://www.unicef.org/appeals/myanmar.html
Video and photos are available for download here: http://weshare.unicef.org/Package/2AMZIF0Y3VA