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Friday, June 14, 2024

UNICEF India: Humanitarian Situation Report for the Period 1 January – 31 December 2023

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India is no stranger to extreme weather events, and in 2023, the country experienced three major cyclones that caused severe flooding impacts on both the east and west coasts. Additionally, southern states faced scorching heatwaves and drought, while northwestern states were hit with excessive rainfall. The state of Sikkim and West Bengal also dealt with a glacial lake outburst flood, affecting over 5.5 million people across various states in India.

UNICEF Support for Disaster-Affected Communities

UNICEF India played a crucial role in supporting 1.48 million people affected by disasters in 2023. This support included providing primary healthcare services to 2.85 million children and women, distributing critical WASH supplies to 93,150 individuals, and offering alternative care services to 57,653 unaccompanied and separated children.

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

The occurrence of two cyclones, ‘Mocha’ and ‘Biparjoy,’ highlighted the escalating impacts of climate change and increased cyclonic activity in India’s coastal regions. The slow-moving cyclone ‘Biparjoy’ caused heavy rainfall in western and northwestern India, leading to floods in Gujarat. Heatwaves were experienced in eastern and southern states, further complicating the disaster risks faced during the monsoon season.

UNICEF continued its work on emergency preparedness and response in states like Assam and other parts of Northeastern India, supporting efforts to build resilient systems and respond to various vulnerabilities faced by children and women. The Glacial Lake Outburst Flood in Sikkim and West Bengal caused significant damage, particularly in the education sector, emphasizing the need for climate resilience.

Challenges Faced in Tamil Nadu and Response Efforts

In Tamil Nadu, heavy rainfall from cyclonic storms led to massive flooding, affecting urban wards and slum populations. Flash floods in southern districts further strained response capacities, highlighting the need for improved preparedness and response to extreme weather events that go beyond government capacities.

With limited resources available, UNICEF shifted its focus to ‘risk-informed programming’ to strengthen systemic preparedness for emergencies impacting children and their families. Collaboration with local partners and leveraging wider systems helped deliver fast and effective humanitarian action for vulnerable populations.

UNICEF’s Support and Impact in 2023

Throughout 2023, UNICEF India supplemented government efforts in addressing the needs of over 3.5 million people affected by cyclones, floods, and other emergencies in various states. By providing support to enhance emergency preparedness and response capabilities, UNICEF worked to advance child inclusion in early recovery planning and coordination efforts.

Overall, the increasing frequency and intensity of climate-related disasters in India underscore the importance of climate resilience, adaptive strategies, and collaborative efforts to ensure the well-being of communities facing these challenges.

FAQ

Q: What support did UNICEF provide to disaster-affected communities in 2023?

A: UNICEF played a crucial role in supporting 1.48 million people affected by disasters in 2023, including providing primary healthcare services to 2.85 million children and women.

Q: How did UNICEF respond to challenges faced in Tamil Nadu?

A: UNICEF shifted its focus to ‘risk-informed programming’ to strengthen systemic preparedness for emergencies in Tamil Nadu, collaborating with local partners to deliver effective humanitarian action.

Conclusion

The humanitarian situation report for India in 2023 highlighted the escalating climate-related challenges faced by the country, with UNICEF playing a crucial role in supporting disaster-affected communities. Through its interventions and support, UNICEF helped address the needs of millions of people affected by cyclones, floods, and other emergencies, emphasizing the importance of climate resilience and collaborative efforts in ensuring the well-being of vulnerable populations.

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