UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Region Humanitarian Situation Report No. 4 (1 October – 31 December 2022)

In 2022, UNICEF provided access to primary health care for 4,161,790 children and women and vaccinated 27,041,501 children against measles.

 

A total of 958,035 children and caregivers were also supported in accessing mental health and psychosocial support and 98,338 women, girls and boys in accessing gender-based violence risk mitigation, prevention or response interventions.

 

UNICEF supported 327,041 schools to implement safe school protocols and 8,737,376 children with access to formal or non-formal education.

 

UNICEF also provided 1,230,497 children with safe and appropriate WASH facilities and hygiene services in learning facilities and safe spaces.

 

Regional Funding Overview

 

In 2022, UNICEF appealed for US$ 118.8 million to meet the humanitarian needs of children, adolescents and women affected by emergencies, including chronic, protracted humanitarian situations as well as UNICEF’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region. As of 31 December 2022, a total of US$ 73.45 million was received against the 2022 HAC (including US$ 49.13 million carried over from 2021 and US$ 24.32 million received in 20221) from both public and private donors. UNICEF acknowledges and is thankful for the generous contribution of donors supporting this joint effort to respond and mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other emergencies in the EAP region. Please refer to Annex B and Annex C for more detailed information on funding per functional area and country.

 

Regional Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

 

While the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continued to be reported in EAP, the majority of reported cases had been of mild to moderate levels, thanks to increasing vaccination rates throughout the region. Nevertheless, new variants of the virus continued to surge, causing new waves of COVID cases. At the same time, the resumption of disrupted access to essential health, nutrition, and social services remained slow and declines in household incomes continued during the reporting period.

 

Due to the pandemic, several countries had postponed routine vaccination campaigns, increasing the risk of outbreaks of life-threatening diseases such as measles, diphtheria and polio. An estimated 1.7 million children in EAP continue to be affected by severe wasting. Furthermore, access to life-saving WASH services was disrupted for millions of people as service providers struggled with staff health and safety concerns and financial difficulties. Education needs are even more urgent due to the extended school closures combined with insufficient distance learning. UNESCO estimates that 4 per cent of students in the region are at risk of dropping out as a result of the prolonged school closures. A combined approach of supporting vaccine roll-out while continuing to focus on efforts to respond to the social-economic impacts of the pandemic remains critical to save lives and alleviate suffering, especially for children.

 

Natural hazards, civil unrest, displacement and protracted conflicts also continue to impact the lives of children across East Asia and the Pacific (EAP). In several countries, recurring natural disasters, including those induced by climate crises, constrain the socio-economic recovery from the pandemic. Typhoon Rai, which swept through the Philippines on 16 December 2021, heightened the vulnerability of children and their families who had already been struggling to cope with the devastating consequences of COVID-19. The refugee sea crossings to Southeast Asia, mostly of Rohingya people, increased substantially in 2022 compared to 2020 and 2021, with hundreds reported deceased, including women and children due to starvation and dehydration. The aggravated situation has resulted in a serious humanitarian crisis. In Myanmar, the continuing armed conflict and targeted violence, coupled with the presence of COVID-19, continues to push a growing number of children into a situation of humanitarian needs. Further details on the situation in the Philippines and Myanmar can be found in separate situation reports dedicated to their respective UNICEF HAC appeals.

 

Source: UN Children’s Fund