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UNODC supports parents and caregivers in IDP camps in Kachin State, Myanmar, to keep families safe during COVID-19 pandemic

Yangon (Myanmar), 3 July 2020 - UNODC provided guidance on how to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Kachin State, Myanmar. The guidance is aimed at parents and caregivers on how to keep their children safe and healthy.

In crowded conditions, such as one found in IDP camps, protecting children’s health is difficult at the best of times. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, raising a family has become even more challenging. To provide support to parents and caregivers, UNODC has provided 10,000 leaflets to families in IDP camps across Kachin State, providing guidance on how to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. UNODC also provided an interactive workshop to local NGOs and camp service providers, so they can also meaningfully support IDP’s health and wellbeing.

"We’ve seen that quite a number of parents were using alcohol and illegal drugs to cope with their stress. Due to the increased pressure they’ve faced during the pandemic, they may not be parenting as effectively as they normally do.” said Naw Bawk, Health Poverty Action’s Community Mobilization Team Leader, one of the local NGOs distributing the leaflets. “These leaflets will be very useful for parents to cope with their stress in a better way."

The leaflets, “Information for Parents and other Caregivers in Crowded Communities or Refugee Settings during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” provide straightforward and actionable advice to parents living in Kachin’s IDP camps. They cover an overview of how parents can reduce their children’s potential exposure to COVID-19, and how to manage children’s stress under lockdowns and curfews. The leaflets also touch on the mental health of parents.

UNODC has been working with local camp service providers to distribute the leaflets. To build the capacity of these partner organizations to address the challenges of parenting during the pandemic, UNODC led an online workshop, providing evidence-based parenting advice. The workshop also provided a space for knowledge sharing, allowing those working in the camps to share their experiences and best practices with one another.

For more information on parenting during COVID-19 and to see the English version of the leaflet click here