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South Asia earthquake: Quick donor response helps save lives

© UNICEF video
A helicopter delivers high-protein biscuits for children and families struggling to cope with the aftermath of the earthquake in a remote area of Pakistan.

By Kun Li

NEW YORK, 17 October 2005 – Within 24 hours of the earthquake that struck South Asia on 8 October, funds for emergency relief had started to come in from governments all over the world. Although much more is still needed to ensure the survival and well-being of children and families affected by the quake, this quick response enabled UNICEF’s emergency teams to help thousands of people.

“Early funding is crucial,” said Karin Hulshof, Director of UNICEF’s Programme Funding Office. “The earlier the money gets in, the more lives we can save. Within 24 hours, we received funds from the Governments of Ireland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands, among others, which really made a difference between life and death.”

Response to appeal

UNICEF has issued an emergency appeal for $64 million to provide emergency relief for children and families who survived the earthquake. Nearly $24 million is in place so far, thanks to the response from Governments and fundraising efforts by UNICEF National Committees. The Government of Ireland has donated $1.2 million and the Government of the Netherlands has given $3.6 million. The US Fund for UNICEF and the German National Committee for UNICEF have each raised some $2 million.

With the funding, UNICEF has been able to provide urgently needed items including 300,000 water purification tablets, 375 cartons of nutritional biscuits, 500 tents, 12,000 rolls of tarpaulin, 100,000 blankets and 12,000 sweaters. More supplies are on their way. Trucks and helicopters are fighting severe weather to distribute the items to remote areas, and are bringing injured children to hospitals for treatment.

“UNICEF is particularly thankful for donors who came early,” added Ms. Hulshof. “We were able to send the supplies within 24 hours – that’s very important. The Governments and National Committees are really the ones who are saving children’s lives.”




17 October 2005:
Karin Hulshof, Director of UNICEF’s Programme Funding Office, thanks donors for their quick response to help children affected by the South Asia earthquake.

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