How UNICEF is helping
Hasina, 11, stands beside her father under an umbrella amidst the debris where their house used to be before it was destroyed in the tsunami.
11 April 2005
Key UNICEF Actions
Working closely with government and partners, UNICEF has:
Health and Nutrition
- Vaccinated children against measles in affected areas.
- Launched a vitamin A supplementation campaign in all affected districts to benefit over 463,000 children 6 months - 15 years.
- Provided emergency health kits containing essential drugs and supplies for up to 150,000 persons within 72 hours of the disaster. UNICEF has since delivered additional drugs, including 150,000 sachets of oral re-hydration salts, intravenous fluids, essential antibiotics and antiseptics for children and families in temporary camps.
- Delivered more than 75,000 mosquito nets, 90 infant scales, and 30 delivery beds and accessories.
- Distributed 200,000 leaflets on the importance of breastfeeding.
- Developed a public health campaign on disease risk awareness that included distribution of 200,000 leaflets in Tamil and Sinhala.
- Identified and registered separated and unaccompanied children, in an ongoing effort to reunite children with their parents or relatives. UNICEF is also working closely with local authorities to provide follow-up social work for these children.
- Trained 150 psychosocial support workers to provide support to children who are distressed.
- Created child-friendly spaces in camps – an essential step in the aftermath of emergencies to ensure that children can enjoy themselves with play and games. UNICEF has distributed more than 1,350 recreation kits containing equipment for team sports for an estimated 81,000 children.
- Provided 3,850 family kits for separated children and their caregivers, which include cookware, personal hygiene supplies, mosquito nets and floor mats.
- Worked closely with local police and other partners to raise awareness about the heightened potential for abuses against children and women. UNICEF has distributed some 200,000 leaflets on protecting children from exploitation and abuse.
- Led a massive supply and distribution operation to ensure that all school supplies, textbooks, teaching aids, furniture and uniforms were in place by the government’s “back-to-learning” deadline of January 31.
- Distributed over 3,000 school-in-a-box kits, containing basic school supplies for over 200,000 children.
- Provided school furniture for 45,250 students, exercise books for over 153,000 children, uniforms for 107,000 children and over 114,000 school bags. More supplies will be distributed in the coming weeks, including 3,000 more desks, 7,000 more chairs and enough material to stitch another 120,000 uniforms.
- Cleared 170 schools of rubble. UNICEF has also cleaned and conducted minor repairs in some schools.
- Developed awareness materials for use in schools, children's clubs and community groups, which are designed to facilitate discussion among children and parents about natural disasters, and to address their questions and fears relating to the tsunami.
Water and Sanitation
- Delivered emergency water supplies, latrine equipment and hygiene provisions to nearly 400,000 people in temporary camps. This included 100,000 bottles of water, 50 tons of water treatment chemicals, 25,000 water purification kits and 16,000 hygiene kits.
- Built almost 1,000 emergency toilets in communities, camps and schools and constructed bathing facilities in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu.
- Distributed 200,000 pamphlets on good hygiene practices and led hygiene-awareness campaigns in all affected districts.
Key UNICEF supplies procured offshore
- Emergency health kits for 150,000 people for 3 months. Emergency health kits are designed to help meet the initial primary health care needs of displaced populations who are without medical facilities. Each kit contains drugs, medical supplies, and basic medical equipment.
- Mosquito nets to prevent children and their families from contracting malaria. UNICEF has shipped 8,600 mosquito nets to Sri Lanka.
- Oral rehydration salts (ORS) to replace lost fluids and salt in cases of acute diarrhoea. 150,000 ORS sachets have been shipped to Sri Lanka.
- Water purification tablets to provide safe drinking water for children and their families living in temporary settlements where poor-quality water creates risks for deadly water-borne diseases. UNICEF has shipped approximately 2.7 million water purification tablets to Sri Lanka.
- Hygiene kits providing 10,000 couples with basic supplies such as toothbrushes, soap, towels, detergent and toilet paper for one month.
- Tarpaulin rolls (4x50m) and sheets (4x5m) to provide basic shelter and protection for up to 17,530 families.
- School-in-a-box kits containing basic school supplies for more than 200,000 children.
- Exercise books for approximately 1.4 million children.
- Recreation kits for 81,000 children. Each kit contains balls for several types of games, frisbees, skipping ropes, coloured tunics for different teams, chalk and a measuring tape for marking play areas, and a whistle and scoring slate.