COVID-19: UNICEF Thailand launches urgent appeal to the public to help millions of children in need of critical hygiene and other supplies

12 May 2020
Children are washing their hands to prevent COVID19
UNICEF Thailand

BANGKOK, 12 May 2020 – UNICEF today launched a campaign “Help From Home” appealing to the Thai public for donations to help provide critical supplies including soaps to millions of children and families in Thailand and around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Globally, UNICEF is now appealing for $1.6 billion, up from $651.6 million requested in a similar appeal late March, to meet growing needs of children impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch 30-second spot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSs6zVSFTSw

To donate: Type COVID and send SMS to 4712225 to donate 100 baht

The 30-second spot on COVID-19 appeal will be broadcasted on TV stations, social media channels, with a number of leading celebrities including Nichkhun Horvejkul, Pachara Chirathivat, Davika Hoorne – Friends of UNICEF – joining UNICEF to call for public support.

While handwashing with soap is one of the most important measures to curb the COVID transmission, millions of people still have no access to a place to wash their hands. Latest data from UNICEF and the World Health Organization indicated that only 3 in 5 people worldwide have basic handwashing facilities.

According to the latest estimates:

  • 40 per cent of the world’s population, or 3 billion people, do not have a handwashing facility with water and soap at home. Nearly three quarters of the people in least developed countries lack basic handwashing facilities at home.
  • 47 per cent of schools lacked a handwashing facility with water and soap affecting 900 million school-age children. Over one third of schools worldwide and half of schools in the least developed countries have no place for children to wash their hands at all.
  • 16 per cent of healthcare facilities, or around 1 in 6, have no hygiene service, meaning they lack hand hygiene facilities where patients receive care, as well as soap and water at toilets.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, UNICEF has been distributing millions of pieces of vital supplies including hygiene kits, medical supplies and personal protection equipment to protect children and families as well as healthcare personnel around the world. In Thailand, some 150,000 soaps and hand sanitizers have been distributed to children living in poor communities, in street situation, welfare and protection centres, migrant learning centres, juvenile observation and protection centres and juvenile training centres across the country.

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Download 30-second spot (.mov, EN subtitle + poster)

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1o-zYUZdyOoSrK6syCFeOCQtB9u5EZwG3?usp=sharing

To help fight against COVID-19 pandemic  

Donate via SMS: Type COVID and send SMS to 4712225 (100 baht per one SMS)

Donate online: https://www.unicef.or.th/soap

Note to editors

In Thailand, UNICEF is contributing to national efforts by partnering with the Royal Thai Government and other partners such as NGOs, the private sector, and other United Nations agencies, in a number of initiatives including:

  • Distributing more than 150,000 bars of soap and hand-sanitizers, in collaboration with Unilever Thailand, to vulnerable children and young people across the country;
  • Providing testing reagent to support Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute (BIDI);
  • Disseminating information materials including on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, parenting guidance during COVID-19, and tips on mental health, through mass media and social media channels;
  • Supporting community outreach to provide migrant communities in 22 provinces with key messages on health and hygiene practices;
  • Conducting surveys and analysing the economic and social impact of COVID-19 on children and young people especially the most vulnerable;
  • Providing recommendations to strengthen national social protection support to the most vulnerable;
  • Procuring infrared thermometers for schools and early childhood development centres, as well as developing guidance on safe school operation, to facilitate the return of children to school in the coming months.

UNICEF has so far received US $215 million in support of its response to the pandemic. Additional funding will help UNICEF build upon results already achieved which include:

  • Over 1.67 billion people reached with COVID-19 prevention messaging around hand washing and cough and sneeze hygiene;
  • Over 12 million people reached with critical water, sanitation and hygiene supplies;
  • UNICEF has shipped more than 6.6 million gloves, 1.3 million surgical masks, 428,000 N95 respirators, 291,000 gowns, 13,000 goggles, 63,500 face shields, 200 oxygen concentrators and 34,500 diagnostic tests for COVID-19, in support of 52 countries as they respond to the pandemic;
  • Nearly 80 million children reached with distance or home-based learning;
  • Over 10.9 million children and women receiving essential healthcare services in UNICEF supported facilities; and
  • Over 830,000 children, parents and caregivers provided with community-based mental health and psychosocial support.

Media Contacts

Iman Morooka
Chief of Communication
UNICEF Thailand
Tel: 061-414-6488
Nattha Keenapan
Communication Officer
UNICEF Thailand Country Office

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.

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