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Press centre

Tsunami Press Room

© UNICEF/ HQ06-0846/Josh Estey
Viki, 10, sits with his mother Esti in the remote village of Nogo Sar II in Bantul District in Yogyakarta Province.
On 26 December 2004, the tsunami wiped away homes, schools, and health facilities, demolished roads, bridges and power lines; irrevocably altering the lives of millions of people.  Schools were used as camps to house all those who were displaced.  People were left with nothing.

UNICEF and its partners are focusing on rebuilding the affected areas ‘back better.’  We are looking beyond the brick and mortar to the psychological well-being of children, long-term educational needs and development. 

UNICEF has rebuilt old schools that, even before the tsunami, lacked equipment, supplies and even toilets for the children, and turned them into child-friendly schools with computer labs, more teachers and more space.  Additionally, UNICEF Sri Lanka, provided school supplies for 200,000 children, 50,000 desks and chairs, as well as 200 temporary school shelters.

After-school activities organized by UNICEF and local non-governmental organizations for Tamil, Muslim and Singhalese children affected by the 2004 tsunami include gathering children together for games, drama, singing and sports.  This programme helps children confront and overcome the stress they faced, and serves as a tool for longer-term peace-building by providing a unique opportunity to learn about each other’s cultures and lives.

However some of the areas hit hardest by the Tsunami are once again riddled with conflict and strife.  After a three year ceasefire between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the people now face more conflict.  Tens of thousands of families are now being displaced in Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka.  This is becoming a real crisis and threatens to make the children, who are still recovering from the Tsunami, even more vulnerable.

For further information, please contact:

Gordon Weiss, Press Officer, Emergencies, UNICEF New York: Tel + (212) 326 7426, gweiss@unicef.org

Geoffrey Keele, Communication Officer, UNICEF New York: Tel + (212) 326-7583, gkeele@unicef.org

South Asia Regional Office
Martin Dawes, UNICEF Senior Regional Communication Officer for South Asia , at UNICEFs office in Colombo, Sri Lanka: Tel
+ 94 11 2555270 x250, mdawes@unicef.org

Junko Mitani, Communication Officer, UNICEF Sri Lanka: Tel +  94 11 2555270,  colombo@unicef.org

East Asia and Pacific Regional Office
Madeline Eisner, UNICEF Senior Regional Communication Officer for East Asia and Pacific Region , at UNICEFs office in Bangkok, Thailand: Tel
+ 66 2 356 9406, meisner@unicef.org

John Budd, Communications Officer, UNICEF Indonesia: jbudd@unicef.org

UNICEF Regional Communication Officer for East Asia and Pacific Region Shantha Bloemen, at UNICEFs office in Bangkok, Thailand.
+ 66 2 356 9407

Press Releases and New Notes:

Zahira Primary (Hambantota) Builds Back Better
COLOMBO, 30 August 2006 - More than 500 children, teachers and parents of Zahira Primary School, in Hambantota district, will today be the proud recipients of new primary school buildings.

UNICEF: Children are victims of the conflict in Sri Lanka
COLOMBO/NEW YORK/ GENEVA, 15 August 2006 – The bombing on Monday of a Vallepuram compound in Mullaitivu district that reportedly killed dozens of girls and wounded many more is a shocking result of the rising violence in Sri Lanka, UNICEF, said today.

UNICEF sends emergency supplies to help victims of South Sulewesi floods
JAKARTA, 23 June 2006 – UNICEF is airlifting emergency supplies of hygiene equipment and water containers to flood affected districts in the Indonesian province of South Sulewesi.

UNICEF supplies 200 new temporary school buildings to Aceh
BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA, 26 May 2005 - UNICEF is building two hundred temporary primary schools in the areas of Aceh worst affected by the tsunami.  The buildings would cost $US 2.3 million, or about $11,500 each and were designed to be used while permanent classrooms were being constructed.

UNICEF Executive Director Embarks on Year-End Trip
NEW YORK, 6 December, 2005 - UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman travels to India and the U.K. this week for an international trip that focuses on issues critical to children’s health and protection.

Tsunami Generation of Children See Hope for the Future, According to UNICEF Survey

NEW YORK, 22 December 2005 – One year after the tsunami dramatically changed their lives, children in India, Sri Lanka and Thailand feel hopeful about the future, while children in Indonesia are recovering at a slower pace, according to a survey of tsunami-affected children released today by UNICEF. 




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Official updates

Children and the Tsunami, A Year On: A Draft UNICEF Summary of What Worked [PDF]


Videos and stories highlighting UNICEF's continuing effort to help rebuild children’s lives in the tsunami affected countries.

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