7 August 2015 – Unicef has called for £6 million to fund urgent humanitarian assistance for children affected by the Myanmar floods. So far, the floods have killed at least 88 people and affected over 330,000, including over 112,000 children. The most urgent needs include safe and clean water and sanitation, emergency health care, and psycho-social support for children.
“In the four worst affected states and regions, Chin, Magway, Sagaing and Rakhine, flooding has hit those who were already among the most vulnerable in the country,” Unicef Acting Representative in Myanmar Shalini Bahuguna said. “Today we are sending out assessment teams to Bago and Ayeyarwady regions, which have also been affected, so that we can assess the situation and bring aid to those who need it.”
Together with the Government, Unicef is working to reach all affected children in Myanmar. The organisation is supporting assessment teams throughout the country and has dispatched water purification tablets and other essential water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and health supplies to affected areas.
In Chin State, which has been largely cut off from the rest of the country due to damaged roads and bridges, Unicef has helped build latrines from locally sourced materials. Many children and families in Chin State remain in temporary shelters.
So far, Unicef has:
• Helped transport 860,000 water purification tablets to cover 57,000 people for 15 days
• Dispatched 6000 hygiene kits for approximately 30,000 people
• Dispatched 150 child protection kits and 40 child friendly space kits
• Provided micronutrient support for children and families in Chin State
As the water subsides in some flood-hit parts of Myanmar, early recovery efforts must concentrate on rebuilding the devastated lives of all affected children and families. As well as meeting families’ immediate needs, recovery measures need to take a long-term view to protect vulnerable children from future shocks.
Myanmar is prone to natural hazards, such as floods, cyclones and earthquakes. Unicef is working closely with the Government to strengthen the country’s disaster preparedness and community resilience, including through inclusive social protection.
“We will continue to support the Government’s efforts to extend social protection to all children and families, and to strengthen the capacity of institutions to prepare for, and manage, future disasters,” Ms Bahuguna said.
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