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Tsunami disaster – countries in crisis

UNICEF aid flight arrives in Sri Lanka with life-saving supplies for Sri Lankan children

© UNICEF Sri Lanka/2004
Supplies from UNICEF are unloaded for distribution to the tsunami victims in Sri Lanka.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 30 December 2004 - A UNICEF-chartered cargo plane touched down in Colombo this morning bringing essential life-saving supplies for Sri Lankan children and their families.

The cargo plane, which left Copenhagen on Tuesday night, is carrying 15 emergency health kits (containing medicines, medical supplies and basic medical equipment to cover the health needs of 150,000 people for three months), 150,000 sachets of oral rehydration salts to combat diarrhoea, and 20 tents.

School-in-a-box kits (containing education materials for 8,000 pupils and their teachers) and recreation kits are also included in the shipment, to help ensure that children can return to their studies as quickly as possible and regain a sense of normality.

The much-needed supplies were immediately handed over to the Honourable Nimal Sripala de Silva, Sri Lanka’s Minister for Health.
© UNICEF Sri Lanka/2004
Hon. Nimal Sripala de Silva, the Sri Lankan Minister of Health, receives UNICEF’s life-saving supplies.
“We are really thankful to UNICEF, the World Health Organization and other international agencies who have responded to us,” he said. “They have sent us a lot of pharmaceutical items and food for our displaced people.”

The items will be transported from here to the ravaged coastal areas for the children and the families who are in desperate need of help.

More than 745,000 children, women and men are displaced from their homes. At least 27,000 have died and over 4,000 people are missing.  These numbers continue to rise.

Another flight to Sri Lanka sponsored by the Belgian Government and containing 20 tonnes of tarpaulins and tents, also arrived in Colombo today. In addition, four emergency health kits were shipped on a commercial Thai Airways flight on Wednesday from Copenhagen to Indonesia and are scheduled to arrive on Thursday.

UNICEF has developed a list of standard items that can be used in various types of emergency, so that not a minute is wasted following a disaster. With many years of experience working with children and women in crisis, UNICEF has a great deal of expertise in supplying emergency aid.




30 December 2004: UNICEF's Dan Thomas reports on the arrival of the UNICEF-chartered aid flight in Sri Lanka

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27 December: UNICEF Communication Officer Martin Dawes talks about UNICEF's relief efforts for Sri Lanka's children

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