• The conflict in Myanmar has caused many areas to become contaminated with landmines and explosive remnants of war, with the number and frequency of casualties propelling Myanmar into becoming one of the most mine-affected countries in the world. UNICEF is protecting children from this risk by ensuring that Explosive Ordnance Risk Education is integrated across all relevant sectors of its humanitarian response.
• As of 23 May, a reported 694,300 civilians have been displaced nationally by the conflict, more than double that of the figure of 320,900 at the end of 2021.
• June will mark the traditional start of the academic year, and safe access to education for all children remains an urgent priority across the conflictaffected areas.
• The reporting period usually sees the onset of water shortages, especially in Rakhine. To ensure an uninterrupted water supply for internally displaced people (IDPs) and the host communities, UNICEF has initiated a scarcity response to meet the daily water needs of 28,078 IDPs in Pauktaw in Sittwe, and at Ah Agnu IDP site in Meybon township.
Funding Overview and Partnerships
The UNICEF Myanmar Country Office is appealing for US$ 151.4 million to respond to the multi-sectoral humanitarian needs of the targeted 1.1 million children in Myanmar in 2022. The Myanmar Humanitarian Needs Overview estimates that, in 2022, a total of 14.4 million people are in need of assistance, including 5 million children. UNICEF wishes to express its deep gratitude to all public and private sector donors for the contributions and pledges received, which have made the current response possible. UNICEF would especially like to thank the generous support received this year from the governments of Japan, Norway, Denmark and the United Nations office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA). These funds will contribute to delivering services to affected populations, notably for Child Protection, Water Sanitation and Hygiene, Education, Health and Nutrition programmes and responses. Although 19 per cent of the UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children requirements were received, the funding gap of 81 per cent is severely affecting the capacity to respond. Without these resources, targeted populations, especially children, who need basic social services will not be able to receive assistance. Continued donor support is critical to continue scaling up the response. UNICEF is thankful for the commitment and dedication of all its partners and colleagues in Myanmar who continue to stay and deliver lifesaving assistance to affected children and women, amidst an incredibly challenging context.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Children in Myanmar continue to face unprecedented needs, compounded by the national political, security and humanitarian crises, limiting access to services. During the last few weeks, the conflict has continued to deteriorate in the northwest regions of Sagaing, Magway and Chin, with armed clashes between the Myanmar Armed Forces, local People’s Defence Forces and Chinland Defence Forces, resulting in an escalation in the displacement of children and their families. At the end of 2021, more than 320,900 civilians had reportedly been displaced. However, in the first quarter of 2022 this figure has more than doubled and, as of 23 May, approximately 694,300 people have been internally displaced in Myanmar since the military coup, with nearly 49 per cent of them (336,600 people) within the Sagaing region. The support from humanitarian partners to civilians in new areas of conflict remains limited to urban zones, as constraints on access to rural conflict-affected regions are resulting in lower coverage there.
The Mine Action Area of Responsibility (AoR) reports that, as a direct result of the conflict, many areas have become contaminated with landmines and explosive remnants of war. The consequent number and frequency of casualties have propelled Myanmar into becoming one of the most mine-affected countries in the world. To protect children against these risks, the Mine Action AoR is working towards supporting the integration and mainstreaming of Explosive Ordnance Risk Education across sectors of the humanitarian response, in order to teach children and adults how to identify, report and protect themselves against explosive hazards. Although a recent survey in Rakhine has highlighted the dangers of mines and explosive remnants of war in six villages, a national mapping has demonstrated the gaps across all regions in mine action interventions.
To reach the children in dire need of assistance, improved and unimpeded access is necessary, including secured physical access, reduced bureaucratic impediments, lessened scrutiny, functioning telecommunication networks and alleviated banking restrictions. Nevertheless, UNICEF and its partners continue to scale up their response and adapt their activities through prioritizing strengthening capacity and tailoring programming modalities to cope with the security risks and severe travel restrictions.