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UNICEF and Nigerian Red Cross sign agreement on joint humanitarian response

ABUJA, 1 June 2010—UNICEF signed a memorandum of understanding today with the Nigerian Red Cross Society that will enable the two organizations work together quickly and seamlessly with government to protect children in the event of any kind of natural or humanitarian disaster here. The agreement was signed at the headquarters of the National Emergency Management Agency, the government body that coordinates emergency response in the country.

The two organizations agreed to combine their complementary resources to work on early response interventions following natural disasters and other emergencies, and reach out to provide timely support for meeting humanitarian needs of children including rapid assessment, distribution of basic emergency relief materials, setting up temporary learning spaces, child protection and tracing, and data collection for situation reports.

Dr. Suomi Sakai, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, observed that, “the agreement demonstrates the importance of civil society organizations in emergency response, and the value the UN places on partnership with them as it supports government efforts in emergencies.” UNICEF has such agreements with civil society organizations in many countries in order to be able to meet its core commitments to children in the event of an emergency.

Both parties reiterated their commitment to support national and state emergency management agencies in developing a coordinated response. The agreement is valid until 31 December 2012.        

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UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

UNICEF video and high-resolution photography for media organizations is available at http://www.thenewsmarket.com/unicef

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