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Humanitarian Action for Children 2023 – Myanmar

December 6th, 2022  •  Author:   United Nations Children's Fund  •  3 minute read
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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Myanmar continues to experience a severe – and worsening – humanitarian and human rights crisis. Conflict and violence have escalated across the country, impacting children and their families and displacing more than 1.4 million people. The ongoing political crisis has been coupled with economic challenges, increasing people’s vulnerability. An estimated 17.6 million people, including 5.6 million children, are in need of humanitarian assistance.
  • Access of children and their families to such essential services as health care, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and education is severely constrained. These interrelated challenges are threatening children’s survival, development and well-being.
  • UNICEF’s humanitarian strategy focuses on working with communities, local and international partners and with all stakeholders to deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance and ensure critical services reach children in need.
  • UNICEF requires US$169.6 million to respond to the mult-isectoral humanitarian needs of children in Myanmar.

HUMANITARIAN SITUATION AND NEEDS

Children and their families continue to suffer due to widespread and deepening conflict in Myanmar. The situation further deteriorated in 2022, with increased fighting taking place nationwide between the Myanmar Armed Forces, ethnic armed organizations and more than 600 local defence groups. Around 17.6 million people – almost one third of the population – are in need of humanitarian assistance. The number of children and their families displaced by the conflict has increased by 60 per cent since December 2021 to more than 1.4 million people, including the 330,400 who had been living in protracted displacement even prior to the coup that took place in February 2021. Communities in the Sagaing region are the hardest hit, with nearly 612,400 people displaced as of October 2022. The resurgence of fighting in Rakhine State between government armed forces and a large ethnic armed organization has imperilled the situation of the nearly 220,000 people living in protracted displacement there.

There are also extremely vulnerable non-displaced people, including 417,000 stateless Rohingyas, along with communities affected by conflict, insecurity and rising poverty in rural areas and cities. Cross-border movements are fluid and bidirectional. Those who fled to Thailand and then returned to Myanmar remain displaced within the country because they have not returned to places of origin.

Grave violations of child rights have increased in 2022 compared with 2021: for example, the number of children killed and maimed between January and September 2022 more than doubled compared with 2021, largely due to indiscriminate use of heavy weapons, airstrikes and explosive ordnance. There has also been an eightfold increase in the number of abductions in 2022. Attacks on schools and hospitals have continued at alarming levels, while recruitment and use of children by all armed actors remains of serious concern. Millions of children and adolescents are deprived of the right to education because their safe access to education has been disrupted.

The ongoing conflict has undermined the delivery of child health services, including routine immunization and the response to severe wasting. This has lead to a regression in child health outcomes in the country. The disruption in child immunization services also creates longer-term risks of increased disease prevalence.

Access of conflict-affected populations to services and delivery of humanitarian assistance has been further constrained by restrictions imposed on movement of both people and goods. Camp closures and forced return and relocation remain key protection concerns for displaced people. The safety and protection of humanitarian and front-line workers has also become a serious concern, as they are increasingly targeted by parties to the conflict and subject to arbitrary arrests and detentions.


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