Seasonal monsoon has brought strong winds and heavy rains across Myanmar, further intensified by a depression over the Bay of Bengal, causing increased water levels in major rivers and floods in various states and regions. More than 134,000 people have been affected by the floods since the beginning of July 2019. Approximately 86,413 people affected in the first round of flooding and formerly displaced in Kachin, Rakhine, Sagaing, Chin, Mandalay, and Magway have since been able to return to their homes.
Approximately 300,000 children under five in Kayin State, Mon State and Bago Region were reached with two rounds of polio vaccination during second and third week of July after an outbreak of vaccine-derived polio virus in Hpa-pun township, Kayin State. UNICEF supported the outbreak response with immunization, epidemiological & social investigation, planning, monitoring and implementation assistance especially in hard to reach & inaccessible areas of 12 townships.
In the first half of 2019, UNICEF and its partners have:
o Admitted 8,598 Rohingya children to 35 outpatient therapeutic programmes for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition; o Fully immunized 56,494 infants in camps and host communities, protecting them against measles, diphtheria and other diseases;
o Reached 250,000 Rohingya refugees with safe water. Fourteen piped water networks have been completed, meaning 84,500 or one-third of the refugees in the UNICEF’s area of responsibility are accessing water chlorinated during distribution;
o Provided psychosocial support for 58,427 children to contribute to the mental, social and emotional well-being;
o Ensured access to learning for 192,063 (49 per cent girls) Rohingya children aged 4 to 14 years in 2,167 learning centres.
Monsoon floods that have affected eight states and regions are estimated to have displaced more than 78,000 people.
• Where flood waters have receded, evacuation centres have been closed and people have returned to their homes.
• However, with water moving to the south, floods have affected Sagaing, Mandalay and Magway regions where over 43,000 people were evacuated.
• As of 23 July, more than 40,000 people remain displaced in 39 evacuation centres in these three regions while almost all of the displaced people in other affected states and regions have returned to their homes.
• UN and humanitarian partners are working closely with the authorities, monitoring the situation and ready to reinforce the Government’s response to floods as required. .
More harsh weather expected as rains begin to impact refugee camps, causing damage and concern for coming cyclones
The Information Management Common Service Portal is open to all humanitarian organizations as a way to help disseminate information that will assist refugees - in the nine Temporary Shelters located along Thailand’s border with Myanmar - in reaching freely informed decisions concerning their future lives, including the possibility of a voluntary return home. The information will be up-to-date and accurate, of a non-political and impartial nature concerning the socio-economic, human development and humanitarian activities taking place in southeast Myanmar.
Women and girls have specific needs that are often ignored during crisis. While on the run or while living in shelters, women and girls continue to become pregnant, but they often lack access to basic sexual and reproduc-tive health care. Without assistance by midwifes or access to contraceptives, women and girls are at increased risk of unsafe sex, unwanted pregnancy and unsafe delivery, and are at a higher risk of infection by HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. In addition, displaced women have virtually no access to protection, security, justice, and other services related to gender-based violence (GBV). For these reasons, the delivery of sexual and reproduc-tive health and rights (SRHR) as well as GBV services to conflict-affected communities – most of whom are living in protracted displacement – is a key part of UNFPA’s Women and Girls First Programme (WGF). The initia-tive is a commitment to prevent and respond to violence perpetrated against women and girls in Myanmar, and to realize their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
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In May, UNICEF Myanmar issued a press statement calling for the urgent protection of children in Rakhine State as schools re-open and expressing concern about reports of killing of children as a result of direct targeting and indirect actions, detention and mistreatment of children, and the use of schools for military purposes, since the conflict between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army (AA) intensified in 2019.
• UNICEF continues to support distribution of supplies to “newly” displaced populations in central and northern Rakhine State as a result of Tatmadaw/AA fighting, while continuing to advocate for, and request, consistent unfettered access to provide more comprehensive services to those in need.
• Ninety-five percent of IDP students, including 449 girls, participating in UNICEF-supported formal and non-formal primary education activities, passed the Government primary school matriculation examinations this year.