Across the East Asia and Pacific region, the COVID-19 pandemic, compounded by disasters, continues to contribute to severe acute malnutrition (SAM) among children, unimmunized children and children without access to education. Girls and boys are exposed to heightened risks of physical, mental, and sexual violence and abuse. Millions of people lack access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene across the region.
The UNICEF regional office will continue to support country offices, governments and partners by strengthening preparedness, enhancing systems and providing technical expertise for child-sensitive, gender-informed and disability-inclusive humanitarian action and risk-informed programming. UNICEF will also support in controlling the spread of COVID-19 and address the associated socioeconomic impacts.
UNICEF is seeking US$118.8 million to respond to these critical needs, including US$99.6 million for the COVID-19 response and US$19.1 million to address non-COVID-related humanitarian needs. Twenty-four countries and territories are directly covered by this regional appeal.
1.7 million children affected by severe wasting in the region
7.4 million children miss first dose of measles vaccine
89 million people lack basic hygiene services at home
150 million children in psychosocial distress due to COVID-19
115 million children and adolescents lack access to education
Natural hazards, civil unrest, displacement and protracted conflicts continue to impact the lives of children across East Asia and Pacific (EAP). Over 31 million people were affected by disasters triggered by natural hazards in EAP in 2020, more than any other region worldwide.
In January 2021, the West Sulawesi earthquake in Indonesia killed 107 people and affected 99,827 people.
The region is significantly affected by climate change, leading to more frequent and intense heatwaves, storms, floods and drought.
Tropical storms and cyclones affected children in the Pacific Islands, Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia and Viet Nam. In Viet Nam alone, 7.7 million people were affected in 2021, including 2.5 million children.
Heavy rains resulted in flash floods and landslides affecting households in China, Indonesia and TimorLeste.
In addition, chronic and protracted humanitarian situations due to unresolved conflict and political instability continue to affect millions of children and their families, including those at risk of security threats and protests. Moreover, a surge in COVID-19 cases further exacerbated existing vulnerabilities and impacted emergency response and recovery in the region. These conditions pose critical threats to children’s health, nutrition, education, protection and access to basic life-saving services, including water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), with profound impacts on the most vulnerable. An estimated 42.5 million children under 2 years of age in the region are not fed a diet diverse enough to grow well.
Furthermore, girls and boys, including those with disabilities, affected by disasters, conflict and migration, are exposed to heightened risks of physical and emotional violence, abuse and exploitation, including gender-based violence. Across the region, there are 19 million children living with disabilities,14 8 million child migrants,15 772,000 children in residential care, 16 24,000 children in detention, 17 and 25 million children in child labour, including hazardous labour. COVID-19 related school closures continue to disrupt access to education of 270 million children in the region.