|© UNICEF/HQ07-1067/ Das|
|Three boys displaced by flooding peer from beneath a UNICEF-supplied tent at a temporary camp in Madhubani Village in Bihar State, India.|
By Kun Li
NEW YORK, USA, 5 September 2007 – UNICEF's Executive Board opened its second regular session in New York today. From 5 through 7 September, Executive Board members will examine existing programmes in a total of 17 countries in order to create a framework of focus areas over the next five years.
Executive Director Ann M. Veneman delivered her opening remarks, looking back at UNICEF's swift response to the many disasters which occurred this summer.
“In the past several weeks, UNICEF has helped respond to several emergencies, including severe flooding in South Asia and a devastating earthquake in Peru,” said Ms. Veneman. “These examples remind us of the importance of our work this week on behalf of the world’s children.”
Disaster response around the world
The seasonal monsoon flooding has proven to be some of the worst in South Asia’s history. At least 30 million people have been affected in countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. In collaboration with other UN agencies and non-governmental organizations, UNICEF’s field offices on the ground have provided vital emergency response services to the most vulnerable children and their families in areas such as health, nutrition, water and sanitation and education.
A powerful earthquake shook Peru on 15 August, killing hundreds of people and leaving thousands homeless. UNICEF is supporting the Government’s effort to bring more than 220,000 children in earthquake-affected regions back to school. Children and adolescents make up over a third of the population in the country's affected areas.
Center of our work
This week, Executive Board members will look into country programme documents from countries throughout Eastern and Southern Africa, West and Central Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean, as well as Nepal and a Multi-Country Programme for the Pacific Islands.
“UNICEF’s country programmes are central to our work,” said Ms. Veneman. “Providing aid, advice and assistance; coordinating immunization campaigns; addressing under-nutrition and empowering communities and families to build healthy environments, makes a difference in the lives of millions of children around the world.”