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UNICEF – Tsunami 10 years on

Statement from Ted Chaiban, UNICEF’s Director of Programmes and former UNICEF Representative in Sri Lanka during the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

NEW YORK, 23 December 2014 - “The Indian Ocean tsunami changed lives around the world forever.  Entire communities were obliterated in moments.  Families were robbed of children, sisters, brothers and parents.  In an unprecedented expression of international grief and solidarity, millions of people across the globe mobilised in support of one of the largest relief efforts in history.
“UNICEF teams were on the frontline in eight countries, delivering life-saving aid and protecting children from danger amidst unimaginable scenes. 
“Ten years on we have all learned lessons from the tsunami aid operation that have fundamentally altered the way we work.  We have prioritised helping countries hit by disasters such as the tsunami to build back better – constructing earthquake-resilient schools, introducing safer water supplies, ensuring schools prepare children for emergencies and improving legal and social measures to protect children.  We have also invested in building resilience to shocks and disasters by supporting decentralised and community-based health, water and sanitation, education, and social protection systems, working with government and civil society to provide tangible services for children and their families.”  
“UNICEF is determined that the legacy of the Indian Ocean tsunami must be more disaster-resilient societies for children – both in the region and around the world.”


Video and photos marking the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami are available for download here:

For further information, please contact:
Rose Foley, UNICEF New York, + 1 212 303 7987; Mobile: + 1 917 340 2582; E-mail: 

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.  For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:





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