UNICEF India COVID-19 Pandemic Humanitarian Update January - June 2021


Situation in Numbers

  • 286 million children in need of humanitarian assistance

  • 664 million people in need

  • 60 percent of children have access to remote learning

  • 523257 active COVID-19 cases (on 30th July)

  • 399459 total number of COVID-19 deaths (till 30th July)


• 21.8 million children and women accessed primary health care services in UNICEF supported facilities

• More than 67,000 children aged 6 to 59 months with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) admitted for treatment

• 13.01 million people reached with handwashing behaviour change programmes

• 2.4 million people reached with critical water, sanitation and hygiene supplies and services

• More than 980,000 women, girls and boys accessing gender-based violence risk mitigation, prevention or response interventions

• 15.5 million children accessing formal or nonformal education, including early learning

• 25 million participated in engagement actions for social and behavioural change

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

The sudden onset of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India has had a tremendous impact on the health and humanitarian situation and needs across states. The rising number of cases overwhelmed health systems in April and May 2021. The peak of the second wave impacted three times more than that of the first wave in 2020. Again, a significant number of people moved from urban to rural areas, with many losing their livelihoods as urban centres and municipalities imposed movement restrictions (lockdowns) to reduce the risk of infection/transmission. Compared to 2020, transport networks in 2021 across states remained functional throughout the lockdown period so the movement of people was less visible on the roads. Hundreds of children lost their primary caregivers. Vulnerabilities to violence, including abuse and exploitation of women and children remained, along with the realities of limited access to essential services, such as health, nutrition, education, clean water, safe sanitation and social protection schemes.
Two cyclones impacted several states during the reporting period. Cyclone Tauk-Tae caused flooding across multiple coastal districts in Karnataka, Lakshadweep and Maharashtra, and the severe wind damage devastated much of the infrastructure in the coastal areas of Gujarat. Cyclone Yaas made its landfall just in the week following Cyclone TaukTae, this time on the eastern coast of Odisha, also causing significant flooding in the coastal districts of southern West Bengal and aggravating the chronic vulnerabilities of coastal communities.