|© HQ06-1918/Tom Pietrasik|
|For the first time since the tsunami, Bhanpriya, 10, visits the beach where her mother was swept away by the waves.|
After focusing on the emergency phase during the first year, UNICEF shifted toward reconstruction in 2006, while increasingly sharing that responsibility with governments and communities. The massive task of constructing hundreds of permanent school buildings began, with the first students now learning in buildings that in Indonesia are more resistant to earthquakes. Health facilities were rebuilt to replace temporary clinics built during the first year. Child-care centres were erected and human capacity, depleted by the tsunami, is gradually being restored. UNICEF advocated at all stages with policymakers to incorporate the rights of children into all recovery planning, addressing systemic weaknesses which exposed children to risks.
As the process has evolved, UNICEF has maintained its commitment to ‘Build Back Better’ – to build better housing, offer better schooling and provide better health care and other social services – so that the communities are left stronger than they were prior to the tsunami.
Since the tsunami struck, UNICEF-assisted programmes have reached an estimated 4.8 million women and children in affected areas. UNICEF support has helped reconstruct 50 health facilities; provide 1.2 million children with vitamin A supplements; deliver access to safe water to over 1 million people; provide nearly 1 million children and women with insecticide-treated mosquito nets to protect against malaria; and assisted in the construction of 36 newly constructed permanent schools and 145 semi-permanent schools.
Donor generosity has enabled UNICEF to sustain its work even after the immediate attention has faded, and to begin the complicated process of restoring entire communities. That work has reaffirmed the guiding tenet that rehabilitation should build on achievements made during the emergency response phase.
For further information, please contact:
Rafael Hermoso, Emergency/Tsunami, UNICEF New York: Tel + (212) 326-7516, email@example.com
Kate Donovan, Press Officer, UNICEF New York, + (212) 326-7452, firstname.lastname@example.org
Related press releases and news notes:
December 2006 - A new life for tsunami widowers in Sri Lanka
Tsunami two year update
Tsunami recovery, two years on [with video]
India: Children’s centres play vital role [with video]
Indonesia: Safe water for residents [with video]
Malaysia: Long-term psychosocial support [with video]
Maldives: Peer centre combats drug abuse [with video]
Myanmar: A bridge to the future [with video]
Sri Lanka: A new school means new hope [with video]
Thailand: Photo project helps children [with video]