• The unprecedented surges of COVID-19 infection in May and June 2021 as well as subsequent waves in many countries have created dire humanitarian situations in the region, continuously pressuring already overburdened healthcare systems and creating socio-economic and human/child rights crises.
• South Asia continued to be affected by recurrent natural disasters and extreme weather conditions, including cyclones and monsoon flooding affecting Bangladesh, India and Nepal, as well as the worst drought in 27 years affecting Afghanistan.
• UNICEF continued to provide support to continued delivery of essential services despite several spikes of COVID-19 infection: more than 1.17 million children benefitted from access to education/learning recovery; over 338,000 people from critical WASH supplies, over 181,000 children and caregivers from continued access to primary healthcare in Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka.
• UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia continued to provide all countries in South Asia with required technical support for emergency preparedness and response, including support needed for scaling up UNICEF operations in Afghanistan in face of foreign troops’ withdrawal and political shift, as well as for coordination among countries and other regions related to potential refugee outflows from Afghanistan as well as its continued support to the protracted Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh.
• UNICEF expresses its sincere gratitude to all public and private donors for the generous contributions that amount to nearly US$7.3 million, 40 per cent of the total funding requirement under the regional appeal.