|UNICEF staff member helping to load boxes at the Supply Division warehouse|
COPENHAGEN, 8 January 2005 - UNICEF Supply Division, headquartered in Copenhagen, has been working seven days a week since the Indian Ocean tsunami struck. Last Saturday, 150 staff and their families donated time to pack thousands of emergency supply kits destined for children affected by the 26 December earthquake and tsunami.
The day was part of a national telethon aired on public Danish TV stations to raise funds for UNICEF Denmark and other humanitarian organizations.
“UNICEF staff has decided to donate a full day of work, packing school supplies for 320,000 children for the affected area. On top, we’re packing emergency health kits for the equivalent of 40,000 people for three months and midwifery kits for 2,500 deliveries,” explained Søren Hansen, UNICEF Chief of Warehouse and Logistics.
|The national Danish public television station broadcast a telethon to raise funds for UNICEF Denmark and other humanitarian organizations|
While everyone was moved by the humanitarian disaster, some of the staff volunteers also had a personal reason to be at the UNICEF warehouse.
“Today we are packing school in a box kits to be sent to Sri Lanka. They’ll suffice for thousands of children in Sri Lanka, and that’s where I come from. My family and my friends all live there," said Dhammika Dharmatilek, UNICEF staff at Supply Division.
The 16-hour event raised $35 million from viewers around the country. Among the donors were a school near Copenhagen that raised over $5,000 for the telethon and Singapore Airlines, which donated a free airlift.
“This is an unprecedented event in the history of Supply Division and the measure of an unprecedented disaster,” said Mr. Hansen.
The day was a huge success, but there is still more work to do. Emergency medical, school and shelter supplies will continue to be sent from UNICEF Supply Division for the survivors of the tsunami who are still struggling to rebuild their lives.