UNICEF e-newsletter

‘Building back better’ brings positive results for millions of children 26 December 2007

In the three years since the 26 December 2004 tsunami devastated entire regions around the Indian Ocean, UNICEF and its partners have improved the lives and health of millions of children and families affected by the disaster.

Through its ‘building back better’ recovery initiative, UNICEF has constructed and rehabilitated schools, health facilities and child care centres, as well as providing children with life-saving immunization, nutrition, safe water and sanitation.

This effort has brought positive results in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Some of the achievements to date include:

  • Over 100 schools constructed and rehabilitated, and another 250 in the works
  • 59 health facilities completed, with construction under way on an additional 115
  • More than 20,000 water points restored, serving more than 730,000 people, and over 42,000 latrines constructed
  • Insecticide-treated mosquito nets distributed to protect nearly 3.5 million people from malaria
  • Over 1.2 million children served by UNICEF’s psycho-social activities
  • 330,000 people reached by HIV/AIDS awareness and education campaigns.

Meanwhile, the lessons learned from the tsunami have led to sweeping changes in the way UNICEF and other humanitarian agencies work.

“We’ve learned that we need to be quicker. We’ve learned that we’re not on our own.” said UNICEF’s Chief of Programme, Humanitarian and Transition Support Section, Jonathan Cauldwell. “The lessons we’ve learned from the tsunami will go on for decades to come.”

Despite ongoing challenges, post-tsunami reconstruction in several countries is expected to be completed in early 2009.

Thank you for your continued support, and best regards for a fruitful new year as we continue this historic mission.

For every child
Health, Education, Equality, Protection

© UNICEF Indonesia/2007/Estey

Children at the newly built Cot Meuraja elementary school in tsunami-affected Aceh Besar, Indonesia.

VIDEO: UNICEF correspondent Chris Niles reports on how millions of tsunami-affected children are benefiting from UNICEF’s ‘building back better’ initiative.
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