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Copy of Bellamy: UNICEF ready to respond to quake victims in South Asia

NEW YORK, 26 December 2004 – UNICEF country offices circling the Indian Ocean are assessing damage from the Sumatra earthquake that touched off a series of tsunamis early today, killing thousands of people and leaving hundreds of thousands of children and their families in jeopardy.

UNICEF offices in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Maldives, India, and Sri Lanka are working with national and local governments and other UN agencies to assess the damage and mobilize immediate relief.

“The power of this earthquake, and its huge geographical reach, are just staggering,” said UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy.  “Hundreds of thousands of children in coastal communities in six countries may be in serious jeopardy,” she said.  “We’re supporting governments in their damage assessments, and we’re prepared to respond wherever help is needed.”

All UNICEF offices in the region have been mobilized to support relief efforts.  Emergency supplies are on stand-by at the UNICEF global supply hub in Copenhagen and relief flights can be launched at any hour.

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UNICEF press officers coordinating information and interviews:

Martin Dawes, for India, Sri Lanka and Maldives: (977-1) 417-082 x222 mdawes@unicef.org

Shantha Bloemen, for Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia: (66-2) 356-9407 sbloemen@unicef.org

Soraya Bermejo, UNICEF Geneva +41 22  909 5706  GMT +1 hour sbermejo@unicef.org

Alfred Ironside, UNICEF HQ, New York: (1-212) 326-7261 aironside@unicef.org


 

 

 

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