Floods in 2011
The heavily damaging floods that occurred in Thailand in the latter part of 2011 were the worst recorded in over 70 years. The sheer volume of water resulted in significant negative impact on families, including women and children across the Kingdom. A total of 65 of Thailand’s 76 provinces were hit by the floods, affecting an estimated 1.6 million households and 4.4 million people, including over 1 million children. The floods resulted in at least 680 deaths, mostly from drowning. Ninety-one children were among those who lost their lives.
In responding to the floods, UNICEF provided important sector leadership among the international community in several areas. UNICEF also sent out assessment teams to survey the most affected communities and determine how and to what extent women and children were affected. UNICEF provided 37 million baht (US$1.2 million) for emergency relief and post-flood assistance to affected children and families in the areas of health, child protection, water supply and sanitation, hygiene promotion and education. For example, we provided:
• Some 300,000 water, hygiene and sanitation items, including bars of soap, chlorine drops for water purification, alcohol hand-wash gel and garbage bags, to flood-affected families in order to help prevent the spread of communicable diseases
• Printing and dissemination of 320,000 pamphlets to families in flood-affected areas with information on simple, low-cost actions to protect the health and well-being of children during floods and other emergencies.
• 2,500 "School in a Box" kits containing learning materials to help some 100,000 students so that they could continue to learn, even if their schools were temporarily closed due to flooding.
• 20,000 insecticide-treated mosquito nets to protect children and families from dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases.
• Support to the establishment of 40 “Child Friendly Spaces” at evacuation centres that provided children a safe place for recreation and psychosocial activities.
• Training for government and NGO staff and volunteers at evacuation centres on how to better protect children through improved registration and safety procedures and prevention of child separation, abuse and exploitation.
• Support to Raks Thai, a local NGO, to conduct a study, “Voices of the Children: Attitudes and Opinions of Children regarding Disaster Response and Preparedness”. This research enabled children to speak out on their own views, experiences and needs during floods. Key findings and recommendations were disseminated to policy makers and other stakeholders. Watch a video about the study ????
• Support to the National Statistical Office to conduct a national survey entitled "Impact of the Floods on Household Livelihoods" in order to assess the impact of the floods on access of households to basic social services.
• Three public service announcements to inform the public on how to protect themselves and their families against the spread of water-borne diseases, which can be viewed here: