UNICEF asks for contributions from the private sector for the first time in Viet Nam
Hanoi, 5 January 2005 – After more than a week of bring basic relief supplies to suvivors of Asia’s tsunami, UNICEF is turning its focus to the longer-range project of restoring normalcy to the lives of children.
UNICEF’s initial reaction to the devastation caused by the tsunami was simply to keep the survivors alive. Now the organisation is working to reopen schools in all countries caught up in the disaster. They are also distributing recreation kits, including drawing blocks, toy cars and soft toys, amongst children in the Maldives.
“Our immediate concern was to keep the children alive,” says Gerry Dyer, chief of UNICEF’s Emergency Response Unit. “Many had sustained physical injuries which needed tending to. The second concern was to reunite children with parents or relatives or to find a foster family for those who’d been left without anyone. Now we need to look towards their future and provide psychosocial support. In a school you are able to have a lot of interaction with other children but also you have an environment which is quite protected. So in all of the countries which have been affected by this we’re trying to get the schools open this month.”
UNICEF is distributing ‘school-in-a-box’ kits around the region. These include pencils, exercise books, chalk boards and geometry sets. In Sri Lanka, where 1,000 teachers were killed and 151 schools damaged by the tsunami, more than 3,000 kits will provide supplies to over 270,000 children. UNICEF has pledged to have every school in Sri Lanka open by the 20th of January.
In the early days of the emergency, more than 30,000 blankets, sleeping mats and articles of clothing arrived in the region where thousands of people were left with nothing more than the clothes they were wearing when the tidal wave hit.
In Indonesia and Sri Lanka alone, more than one million people were left homeless by the disaster.
Providing shelter is one of UNICEF’s priorities. UNICEF has helped deliver 20 tons of tarpaulin and tents, donated by the Belgian government, to Sri Lanka. A further three planeloads of aid will be added by the end of the week. UNICEF employees and local volunteers have handed out 24,000 tarpaulins in Indonesia.
In the worst hit areas, the sanitation infrastructure has been left in tatters. Aid workers feared the spread of disease but the rapid delivery of medical supplies and fresh water has so far helped keep survivors healthy. Two truckloads of water storage tanks have been taken by UNICEF to the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu to provide relief for women and children living in crowded refugee camps.
In India, UNICEF is working alongside Medecins Sans Frontieres from Holland to help transport supplies to the more remote parts of the country. An immunization drive is planned for children living in the coastal villages. UNICEF is sending 25 tons of cholera supplies for the drive.
An UN Flash Appeal has been launched in Indonesia today. The total of US$144,534,880 appeal has been requested to support urgent humanitarian aid for the children in South Asia. This includes:
- Emergency immunization to prevent fatal childhood diseases
UNICEF in East Asia and the Pacific is also requesting resources from the private sector in the region to help the tsunami’s victims. This is the first time, UNICEF asks for the contributions from the private sector in Viet Nam to help the children outside of Viet Nam.
“Solidarity with the victims of tsunami is especially big in Asian countries. We congratulate the government of Viet Nam for their generous contribution to Indonesia, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka. UNICEF Viet Nam has been approached by individuals and companies in Viet Nam who want to contribute to the initiated relief efforts. We are grateful to receive donations from individuals and enterprises for the children and women in the affected areas” said Mr. Christian Salazar, Officer-in-charge of UNICEF Viet Nam.
DONATE NOW!Donations can be made through our bank account at:
ANZ Bank, 14 Le Thai To, Hanoi or 11 Me Linh Square, District 1, HCMC.
UNICEF Viet Nam Hanoi Branch account 110999 for Vietnamese Dong or
Account 110988 for US Dollar
All donations should be indicated for “Tsunami Appeal”
Or contact UNICEF Viet Nam for further information