By THE NATION
Popular actor Jesdaporn “Tik” Pholdee has been named as the Campaign Champion and will be travelling to the hardest-hit areas in Mozambique next week to visit some of the affected communities and see first-hand Unicef’s relief efforts there.
More than three million people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe are currently affected by the aftermaths of Cyclone Idai and Cyclone Kenneth, the most devastating disasters to hit southern Africa in the past 20 years. Homes, health facilities and schools have been destroyed, leaving thousands sheltering on rooftops, and thousands more crowded into camps and schools and other public buildings. Three months on from the first cyclone, and more than 1.6 million children are still in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, including healthcare, nutrition, protection, education, as well as water and sanitation.
The devastated infrastructure has left communities in a race against time to prevent the spread of diseases. In this image, Lucio Carlos, a volunteer social mobiliser, carries Luisa Daniel, 5, suffering from fever and vomiting to a medical tent where she was tested for Malaria.
“Many children have lost their homes, schools, friends and loved ones. The cyclones took everything away from them,” said Juan Santander, deputy representative for Unicef Thailand. “Over the past few months, Unicef and partners have been racing against time to provide urgent assistance to save children’s lives. The needs remain urgent and massive, as any prolonged interruption in access to essential supplies and services could lead to disease outbreaks and spikes in malnutrition, to which children are especially vulnerable.”
Last month, Unicef Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom visited Mozambique, the country most affected, where more than 1.1 million of children are severely affected by the cyclones.
Displaced people rest at the Samora Machel school in Buzi, Mozambique, where children and families were brought to after their homes were destroyed and flooded.
Following Bloom’s mission, Tik Jesdaporn, will be travelling to Beira, the worst affected area where he will meet children and families at temporary shelters to learn more about their urgent needs.
“I heard heartbreaking stories of many children who have lost everything,” said Jesdaporn. “Although they survived the cyclones, many aspects of their lives have been wrecked. While the crisis is happening far away from Thailand, I want to tell their stories and speak out about their needs. I truly believe that the support from Thai people in times like this will become a vital force that could save thousands of children’s lives. Together, we can help the survivors overcome obstacles and return to normal life again.”
Unicef is supporting children and families affected by the cyclones, so they can return home or relocate to safer places. Unicef is also providing healthcare, nutrition, education, water and sanitation and protection services. Shortly after the disaster hit, Unicef and its partners restored water supplies to thousands of people in Beira and procured and administered 1 million doses of cholera vaccine to curb the disease outbreak.
Unicef and its humanitarian partners are working hard to implement solutions – such as establishing temporary learning centres – to get children back in school as quickly as possible. In this picture, a Unicef staff interacts with children in a temporary classroom in Chipinde.
In Thailand, Unicef hopes to raise a total of Bt25 million, in contribution to the organisation’s global funding appeal which has been set at US$122 million to deliver humanitarian assistance to children and families affected by the cyclone. The donations will be used to provide safe drinking water, vaccines, treatment for malnutrition, as well as quality education and psychosocial support.
To help children and families affected by Cyclone Idai and Cyclone Kenneth:
SMS: Type 100 and send SMS to 4712225 (Bt100 per one SMS) or visit http://www.unicef.or.th/cyclone.
Bank Transfer: Bangkok Bank Account no 2013013244.
Please send your contact information (name, address, mobile phone number) together with pay slip to Unicef and indicate “Cyclone” to [email protected] fax: (02) 356 9229.