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UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman concludes her visit to quake-affected areas

© UNICEF video
UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman visits a rehabilitation centre in Islamabad.

By Julia Spry

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, 1 November 2005 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman has completed her visit to Pakistan’s earthquake-affected areas, including the North-West Frontier Province and the Pakistan-administered areas of Kashmir. She also visited a hospital and rehabilitation centre for children in Islamabad.

“What we saw was tragic,” said Ms. Veneman. “It would be difficult for anyone to look at the injured children and not want to do all in their power to help.” During a meeting with President Pervez Musharraf, Ms. Veneman confirmed that UNICEF will continue to support national efforts to ensure the provision of water and sanitation, health facilities and education.

Winter will hinder access

“Apart from the terrible losses people have suffered, I was struck by the resilience of the survivors as they worked to help themselves and their communities,” said Ms. Veneman. Figures from the Health Ministry suggest that nearly three quarters of all hospitals and health facilities in the most-affected areas have been destroyed or severely damaged. The Ministry of Education estimates that more than 17,000 students were killed in schools that collapsed.

“With the approach of winter, children will need to have access to food, health care, safe water, and sanitation,” said Ms. Veneman. “The needs of children with disabilities and those requiring emotional support must also be addressed. Access to those needing assistance will become more difficult as winter approaches.”






31 October 2005:
UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman visits children being treated for quake-related injuries in Pakistan.

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