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Tsunami disaster – countries in crisis

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow shares her thoughts about the humanitarian crisis unfolding across Asia and Africa


NEW YORK, 30 December 2004 – Renowned stage and screen actress Mia Farrow - a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2000 – met with a UNICEF camera team this week to share some of her thoughts as a mother and humanitarian activist about the unfolding crisis caused by the recent earthquake and tsunamis across Asia and Africa.

“My first reaction when I heard about this was just horror. The numbers weren’t in yet, but I knew they’d be huge. I knew that it would be immense. As a human being, in the human family, I think all of us are in deep grief,” Farrow said.

Farrow is well-acquainted with human suffering, having just returned from a UNICEF trip to Sudan, where she met with children and women who have been victims of ethnic violence and its aftermath in Darfur. Pervious trips took Ms Farrow to Nigeria and post-war Angola.

“It’s so immense, that I think that all of us, human beings on this planet, can unite, now, and put down our differences and all the scrapping and squabbling that’s going on across the planet.”

Many people’s first instinct is to donate commodities, such as blankets or food. But such items can cost more to ship than they are actually worth.

“The best thing you can do to help is to support UNICEF, the Red Cross/Red Crescent, those organizations we know to be at work in the field. They’re already set up there, even before this. They have offices, and an infrastructure. As to blankets and food and things like that, those are available in those countries that have been hit. The organizations that can access them and get them to the people – transport them – those are the organizations we’ve got to support. It may sound crass, but what they really need is money to do that work,” Farrow said.

With at least a million people rendered homeless, UNICEF said it is likely that hundreds of thousands of children are in critical need not only of basic provisions such as food, water and shelter, but also of support in recovering from trauma.

“It’s crucial that everybody bands together to help, because as human beings, we have responsibility for each other,” added Farrow.

UNICEF is working throughout the tsunami-affected areas to assess the needs of children and begin addressing them. To support UNICEF’s emergency response to the disaster please click here.



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31 December 2004:
Mia Farrow reflects on tsunami disaster

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