UNICEF prepared to assist tsunami-affected countries
NEW YORK (March 11, 2001)—Today's events in Japan have left us stunned and saddened. In times of crisis, many people turn to UNICEF, asking, "How can I help?"
In Japan, UNICEF operates much the same as we do here in the U.S., working with the public to raise money, educate, and advocate for children. In fact, the people of Japan have consistently been among the world's most generous donors and volunteers to UNICEF.
Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon today vowed that the UN "stands by the people of Japan and we will do anything and everything we can at this very difficult time."
The Government of Japan has invested significantly in earthquake and emergency response preparedness and has not requested UNICEF support at this time. Currently, there are no plans to launch an emergency fundraising appeal and there is no indication that other countries have been severely affected. However, UNICEF has prepositioned staff and emergency supplies throughout the region to assist vulnerable children and families should the need arise.
At present, we know that UNICEF staff in Tokyo are safe but we do not yet know about their families. Unfortunately, some of UNICEF Japan's offices (Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima) are in areas where there could be victims of Tsunami. We anxiously await word from our colleagues in Tokyo about these staff members.
Ghandi said, "The whole world is like the human body with its various members. Pain in one member is felt in the whole body."
For decades, the people of Japan have helped UNICEF respond to children caught in tsunamis, earthquakes, floods and conflicts around the world. Today, it's their time of need.
Join us in sending our prayers and love to all in Japan.