Urgent need to improve the situation of children in Myanmar's Rakhine State
NEW YORK, 4 July 2014 - More than 105,000 children in Myanmar’s Rakhine State have been affected by inter-communal violence, including 78,000 displaced children living in rural camps in appalling conditions. They, and other vulnerable children, cannot wait. Their needs demand an urgent response.
Rakhine State is one of the poorest areas in Myanmar, with some of the lowest social and development indicators in the world. Half of all children under five in Rakhine State suffer from stunting; nearly 90 per cent are born outside of a health facility; and one in three children is not attending primary school.
Over the past year UNICEF has reached hundreds of thousands of children in Rakhine State with lifesaving assistance – including provision of therapeutic food and nutrition supplements to prevent and treat malnutrition, and support for water, sanitation and hygiene initiatives to stop the spread of pneumonia, diarrhoea, and malaria. In 2013, 300,000 children across Rakhine State were immunized against polio, with UNICEF aiming to reach 236,000 people with measles, polio, tetanus toxoid and other vaccines this year.
UNICEF will continue working with local and government authorities and our partners to meet the needs and promote the rights and well-being of all vulnerable children in Rakhine, regardless of their ethnicity, origin, religion, or language. But much more must be done to address the alarming conditions affecting so many children across the State, and to create the stable environment all children need to grow up safe, healthy and educated.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For further information about UNICEF and its work, visit: www.unicef.org
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For further information, please contact:
Georgina Thompson, UNICEF New York, Mobile: +1 917 775 3874, firstname.lastname@example.org