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Tsunami disaster – countries in crisis

UNICEF aid is reaching the needy

NEW YORK, 3 January 2005 – Urgent UNICEF aid is getting through to the worst hit areas of Indonesia and Sri Lanka following last week’s tsunamis.

Five plane loads of UNICEF supplies have landed and are being distributed and more aid is on the way, according to Gerry Dyer, Chief of UNICEF’s Humanitarian Response Unit who says that some initial logistical problems created by the overwhelming level of international support have been overcome.

"The pipeline of supplies is up and running,” according to Dyer.

Tents, tarpaulins and water purification tablets have been delivered throughout Sri Lanka and also to Aceh, the worst hit region of Indonesia.

Three more planes are expected in Indonesia over the next few days, providing more equipment to keep children alive and also to assist them in resuming their education. School age children will be provided with ‘School- in-a-Box’ kits, which provide basic learning materials.

“It’s important to get children quickly back to school,” Mr Dyer said. “School helps them to have a sense of normalcy when they’ve seen some horrific things.”

The second wave of aid will include drugs to help prevent and treat diseases such as malaria, cholera, dysentery and measles.

An estimated 1.5 million children have been affected by the disaster and UNICEF is hoping to raise $81 million to cover the cost of basic care for them and their families.

“Aid is getting out,” Mr Dyer said. “And the response from the international community has been exemplary.”



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3 December 2005: UNICEF’s Humanitarian Response Chief Gerry Dyer says vital aid is being distributed in Indonesia and Sri Lanka

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