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Providing Services to Children in Emergencies is in Genes of UNICEF

“UNICEF has a long history of working in emergencies and humanitarian situations both natural and man-made; in fact providing services to children in emergencies is in genes of UNICEF,” said Dr. Gianni Murzi UNICEF Iran Representative a.i. in the opening ceremony of “Child Protection in Emergencies” training workshop.

“Originally called the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, the organization was created in 1946 to provide food, clothing and health care to the European children who faced famine and disease after World War II. Much has changed since then, but UNICEF’s fundamental mission has not,” Dr. Murzi added.

The Youth Organization of Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) and UNICEF Iran joined forces to organize “Child Protection in Emergencies” Training Workshop from 5 to 9 December in the Kish Island.

Dr. Habibi, Head of Youth Organization of IRCS stated the Islamic Republic of Iran is among countries most prone to natural disasters, adding that Emergency preparedness, harm reduction and communicating the lessons learned to the Youth Organization of IRCS are high on the list of our priorities.

We hope this workshop backed by a wealth of practical knowledge promote synergy among involved organizations. This will give the volunteers, particularly psychosocial trained teams of SAHAR the chance to put the lessons of the workshop into practice, Dr. Habibi pointed out.

UNICEF Iran Representative a.i. referred to Iran’s remarkable achievements in improving efficiency of protecting children in emergencies, adding “When disaster strikes, children are the most vulnerable. When the people and places they depend on for wellbeing are affected by upheaval, they will suffer long-term developmental, physical and psychological setbacks. Preparing ahead of time to meet children’s unique needs at times of disaster is critical to their protection. It is essential that social and psychological issues are not ignored while homes are rebuilt, social services re-established and livelihoods recommenced.”

“When the massive earthquake struck the city of Bam in December 2003, UNICEF worked hand in hand with Government agencies’ rescue and relief teams to alleviate the suffering of children’s and their families left in grief, and helplessness,” Dr. Murzi mentioned.

The workshop was facilitated by Ms. Joanna Wedge who has a long experience in coordinating trainings for the Child Protection sub-clusters. Ms. Wedge mentioned Child Protection Minimum Standards in Emergency, Development of Child Protection Strategies, Psychosocial Protection, Information Management, System Building and Distress Reduction in Children as the key discussed topics. 

This five-day training workshop was attended by representatives from Ministry of Interior, provincial officials of the Youth Organization of IRCS, the State Welfare Organization and the Ministry of Education.




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