UNICEF in Emergencies & Humanitarian Action

Executive Director Ann M. Veneman: Supplies are critical to relief efforts

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© UNICEF/2005/McConnico
UNICEF chief Ann M. Veneman views emergency supplies being sent to earthquake-hit Kashmir from UNICEF's supply division in Copenhagen, Denmark.

By Sandie Blanchet

COPENHAGEN, 19 October 2005 – UNICEF’s Supply Division, based in this European city, has been key to the organization’s ability to respond to the devastating earthquake in South Asia. UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman is in Copenhagen today to review operations.

“This is a year where emergencies have been extraordinary,” said Ms. Veneman, describing the supply chain as a “critical” part of the relief effort.

International assistance from governments, UN organizations and NGOs has helped hundreds of thousands who have been affected by the quake, but the situation in northern Pakistan remains critical. As many as 120,000 children remain unreached in the mountains, and UNICEF warns that some 10,000 could die of hunger, hypothermia and disease within the next few weeks.

“The relief effort is becoming more complex with each passing day,” said Ms. Veneman. “There are still too few helicopters to reach more than 1,000 remote villages with life-saving supplies that children urgently need.  Where we do have supplies on the ground, we have too few humanitarian partners to deliver them to those most in need.”

Relief shipments

During Ms. Veneman’s visit, staff were preparing a shipment of 1,740 school-in-a-box kits for delivery to Pakistan. The kits will allow nearly 140,000 children to continue their schooling.

Other items sent by the Supply Division over the past week include 68 tons of high-protein biscuits, 21,000 blankets and 100 emergency health kits to cover the basic health needs of 1 million people for three months.

More supplies will be sent out from the Copenhagen warehouse, UNICEF’s emergency supply hub in Dubai, and directly from suppliers in the coming days.


 

 

Video

19 October 2005:
UNICEF correspondent Kun Li reports on Executive Director Ann M. Veneman’s visit to the organization’s supply warehouse in Copenhagen.

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