UNICEF in East Asia and the Pacific: UNICEF programming reaches vulnerable children and families in Cambodia, China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Pacific (Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu), Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.

A region prone to natural disasters

Countries in East Asia and the Pacific bear the brunt of disasters triggered by natural hazards worldwide, with over 1.6 billion people in the region affected by natural disasters since 2000.

The region is also significantly affected by the negative impacts of climate change — cyclones, floods and droughts are more frequent and more intense than ever before.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and compounded existing vulnerabilities. Rates of severe acute malnutrition among children are on the rise, while immunization rates have declined. 

Tens of millions of children are missing out on education due to pandemic-related school closures and other access issues, as risks of violence, exploitation and abuse have increased. Millions of people lack access to safe water and sanitation. 

Jessamae, 7, outside what remained of her home and playground in Sabang village, San Jose, Camarines Sur province, Philippines, after Typhoon Goni swept through. UNICEF responds to nearly 300 emergencies like these every year, meeting the urgent needs of the most affected and most vulnerable children and families. ©UNICEF/UN0358916/Saldico

UNICEF’s strategy for the region focuses on addressing immediate and long-term needs of the most vulnerable children and adolescents, including those living in low-income settings, children living with disabilities, migrant children and children of ethnic minorities. With partners, UNICEF focuses on preventing and mitigating harm in times of crisis while strengthening health, nutrition, education, social protection and child protection services to help children survive and thrive. 

UNICEF priorities in the East Asia and Pacific region include:

  • supporting the continuity of essential health services and vaccinations

  • providing lifesaving nutrition interventions

  • helping kids back to learning in a safe school environment

  • strengthening child protection, mental health and gender-based violence services to better protect children and women

  • expanding social protection systems and emergency safety nets

  • increasing the resilience of children, families, communities, services and systems by ‘building back better’ during recovery from COVID-19

Learn more about UNICEF's ongoing efforts for vulnerable children and families in East Asia and the Pacific.

Learn more about UNICEF's global Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) plan for 2022 and why the $9.4 billion emergency funding appeal to assist 177 million children affected by conflict, the climate crisis and COVID-19 is its largest ever. 

Top photo: Ais, 7, uses sanitation and hygiene supplies provided by UNICEF to wash her hands at the Muslimin Orphanage, Jakarta. When schools in Indonesia closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, more than 60 million students, teachers and families were affected. UNICEF worked with the government and partners to ensure that all children continued to learn, and delivered sanitation and personal hygiene kits to child care centers all over Indonesia. ©UNICEF/UNI337403/Veska