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Tsunami disaster – countries in crisis

UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy tours a devastated Banda Aceh

© UNICEF/HQ05-0039/Holmes
UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy speaks with a man and his two children at a relief camp in Banda Aceh, capital of the province of Aceh on Sumatra Island.
NEW YORK, 4 January 2005 - UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy visited the areas around Banda Aceh, Indonesia on Tuesday -- probably the most devastated zone in the entire region.

Bellamy was on a five-day tour of Asia’s worst-hit regions. She came to Indonesia after assessing the devastation in Sri Lanka.

In Banda Aceh, Bellamy was joined by Jon-Wook Lee, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), and Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid. Together, they ventured out to witness firsthand the magnitude of the destruction and to assess the needs of the region’s children.

© UNICEF/HQ05-0025/Holmes
Mohamed Zulfan stands by a tent that he is sharing with his family, in a camp for people displaced by the tsunami disaster.
Bellamy walked through ruined neighbourhoods – encountering nothing but the occasional tree. At Lhoknga Beach, where 10,000 people had only recently lived, only 200 of them survived. Once a pristine beachfront resort, it has been reduced to rubble, the tsunamis having flattened virtually everything in its path. Ms. Bellamy also toured the damaged schools and the Joint UN Agency building.

At a camp for survivors, information on missing persons - most of them children - was being posted. At a childcare centre nearby, children lined up in order to be registered. Any information they provided about their identity would be used in order to contact relatives, and protect them from exploitation.

“All the information on these children are lost. We register the children so that we can better protect them from exploitation, and possibly reunite them with their extended families,” said Ms. Bellamy on the UNICEF-supported child centre.

UNICEF is concentrating on four steps to save what it is calling the "Tsunami Generation": keeping the children alive, caring for separated children, protecting them from exploitation, and eventually getting them back into school.

UNICEF has also been delivering basic medicines and shelter supplies to relief camps in Banda Aceh. Water purification supplies, school kits, and other vital materials are en route.









Play video

6 January 2005: Carol Bellamy sees the devastation in Banda Aceh

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4 January 2005: Disaster grows in Indonesia as UNICEF delivers aid

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