|UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Susan Sarandon|
NEW YORK, 5 January 2005 – Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon – a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 1999 – spoke with UNICEF this week to share her reaction to the earthquake and tsunami catastrophe in Asia and Africa.
“Finally at the end of the day, when there’s a major disaster like this you realize how vulnerable you are and how much we need each other, and how much good can be done when we all just connect on the need and put our nations aside and see the humanity in each and every one of us,” said Sarandon.
The actress has witnessed children in need many times and has seen UNICEF in action in the field in Tanzania, India and Brazil.
“One of the great things about UNICEF is that they have the structures in place already, so 95 per cent of what you give is going directly to relief efforts, which isn’t true if you have to bring people in and set up offices. They were already in these places and they know their way around. That’s a huge advantage,” said the actress.
With millions of people left homeless, UNICEF says it is likely that hundreds of thousands of children are in critical need not only of basic provisions such as food, water and shelter, but also of support to help them recover from trauma. Getting children back into school is crucial and helps protecting them from trafficking.
“It’s almost overwhelming as a mother to see so many children orphaned, left homeless, so many children dying. But to think of how they’re going to get back on their feet knowing that their tiny houses have been wiped out, that the support systems are gone, their water source is contaminated really frightened me. It was huge,” Sarandon concluded.
UNICEF is working throughout the tsunami-affected areas to assess the needs of children and begin addressing them. To support UNICEF’s emergency response to the disaster please click here.
6 January 2005:
Susan Sarandon reflects on the tsunami disaster