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One year after earthquake, engagement
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By He Shan
China.org.cn staff reporter

Concerning their work over the past year, efforts to rebuild the lives of the victims whose homes were devastated by the May 12 earthquake will continue, the United Nations Children's Fund said yesterday in their "One Year Report" to mark the anniversary of the earthquake.
More feature stories from Unicef

Dr. Yin Yin Nwe, a Unicef representative, speaks at Sichuan Earthquake One Year Report Launch and Press Conference. [China.org.cn]

Shortly after the major tremor jolted Sichuan and adjoining provinces, the organization, known as Unicef, went into action to extend a helping hand to women and children affected by the disaster.

Twelve months after the Sichuan earthquake, a broader, more diverse engagement with victims continues to help victims rebuild homes, schools and everything essential to a new lease of life.

Unicef has offered a total of US$20 million in donations to the affected areas. In cooperation with the Chinese government, Unicef has operated programs in 29 districts and counties across those areas, covering 2.5 million children and 4 million women.

"Yet there are still more families there in need of help," said a Unicef representative, Dr. Yin Yin Nwe. "We will continue with this effort in coordination with the government. Our rebuilding programs will last till 2011."

"We were happy to see that although the earthquake wreaked havoc, the government was quick to act and relieve the suffering of the victims," she added.

The "One Year Report" covers aid work on education, health, nutrition, water, hygiene, psychosocial support and child protection, AIDS prevention and other social policies. Unicef has always kept a keen eye on the usage of donations and periodically issues financial reports to elaborate on how they have been applied.

According to the report, about half of the donations have flown to programs on heath, nutrition, water and sanitation. About one third of the cash in hand has been used to rebuild schools, and the remaining used on child protection, psychosocial support and relocation materials.

"After the earthquake struck, we quickly received generous institutional and individual donations. Funding sources of all the programs came from volunteer donations," said Dr. Yin Yin Nwe. "With their help, we were able to dovetail our aid into the government's relief work."

So far, Unicef has received US$37 million in donations and aims to collect another US$8 million to finance long-term programs.

(China.org.cn May 12, 2009)

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