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Can I volunteer to help tsunami victims through UNICEF?
Unfortunately, we are unable to place volunteers as part of UNICEF's relief efforts. UNICEF secures international volunteers through the United Nations Volunteers programme, which is analogous to national volunteers agencies such as the Peace Corps. The UNV programme requires volunteers with very specialized skills and a long-term time commitment. For more information, you can go the UNV Volunteer programme website at http://www.unv.org/.
Can UNICEF facilitate the adoption of children orphaned by the tsunami?
In conflict and other emergency situations, UNICEF operates on the principle that no child should be adopted abroad unless it is firmly established that he or she has no parents, relatives or community members willing and able to care for the child. In this respect, our efforts to trace families continue for at least two years. We do this because we know from our extensive experience that children who are separated from their families in emergencies are not necessarily orphans.
Our experience also shows that in the midst of conflict and disaster, children are highly vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous individuals looking to make profit, often posing as adoption agents. We are strong supporters of existing international standards designed to protect children from unscrupulous adoptions.
In addition, all affected countries have their own laws and regulations regarding adoption.
How can I donate money to UNICEF for the relief effort?
You can make a donation to UNICEF via our website, http://www.unicef.org/supportasia.php or by calling 1-800-4-UNICEF.
UNICEF is relying on contributions worldwide from individuals, governments, corporations and non-governmental organizations to continue its vital relief efforts in Asia. All of UNICEF's income is voluntary and UNICEF receives no dues assessed to UN member states.
How can I be assured that my donation will directly help tsunami victims?
When you make a donation to UNICEF, either on our website or by telephone (see above), you can choose to earmark your contribution for the tsunami relief effort or any other program. As each of UNICEF’s Country Offices have their own annual budget to cover their overhead costs, your donation can go solely to the relief effort.
What will my donation buy?
$5 can provide an emergency health kit for one person for three months, with medical supplies and drugs to cover basic health needs.
$87 can provide a basic family water kit for ten households, with detergent, soap, wash basin, towels, bucket and water purification tablets.
$188 can provide one "School-in-a-Box" kit containing basic education supplies for 80 children during times of crisis.
How can I help raise money for UNICEF’s relief efforts?
There are numerous ways that individuals, schools, neighborhoods, religious groups and businesses can help raise money for UNICEF. You can find information and assistance for this on our website, http://www.unicef.org/, where you will find links to UNICEF’s national committees throughout the world.
How can I donate goods, such as clothing and blankets, to help the people affected by the tsunami?
Some aid organizations have cargo space for shipping goods to those in need and will accept donated goods. UNICEF, as most international relief groups, prefers cash donations, largely because of the substantial cost of shipping goods. With cash donations, UNICEF can purchase supplies in local regions (close to the affected areas) as much as possible. Not only does this local purchasing save money, but it supports the local economies of the affected regions.
In what countries is UNICEF providing relief for victims of the tsunami?
UNICEF is present and participating in relief efforts in all the affected countries, with the greatest activities in the hardest-hit countries Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Somalia, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Maldives.
How many people does UNICEF have working on the relief effort?
UNICEF has hundreds of people on the ground in the countries hit by the tsunami. Supporting their relief work are our supplies divisions in Copenhagen and New York and our experts on all aspects of child survival and development at our Geneva and New York headquarters and throughout the world.