12 May, 2006

Suriname Relief: UNICEF & PADRU in Suriname, WFP & OCHA Arriving Shortly

After landing in the capital yesterday, the UNDAC team have now established an Internet connection and they are in relief and coordination briefings with the UNDMT (UN disaster Management Team), LEMA (Local Emergency Management Agency) wile collaborating with the NCCR. It is exepcted that the UNDAC's 1st situational field report from Suriname will be released as soon as possible. OCHA's Field Information Support Unit is also deploying staff along with the Head of the OCHA Regional Office for Latin America and the Carribbean to Suriname to provide information management support to the UNDAC Team and are expected to arrive in the capital on Sunday.

UNICEF's team are now in affected areas while the Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) have set up base at the Suriname Red Cross (SRC) Operations Center and are coordinating relief efforts with local NGOs regarding the distribution of aid. The World Food Programme (WFP) have activated their regional emergency response mechanism -- Latin America & Caribbean Emergency Response Network (LACERN ) and their staff are currently mobilizing to Suriname. The WFP team who are arriving in the country, early on Monday morning (15th May) will be assisting aid operations with logistical coordination and civilian military cooperation while carrying out emergency food security assessments in affected areas.

Although an air bridge to Suriname from French Guyana has been started up yesterday with aid flights operating continuously throughout the day, much of the most affected areas in Boven-Suriname and Marowijne are yet to recieve aid and help. Due to the lack of clean drinking water and proper santiation facilities, the survivors in these areas fear the outbreak of widespread sicknesses such as cholera and diarrhoea especially since human waste has been already been seen as floating in the water. A volunteer embedded with the Suriname Red Cross says one of the main reasons that the relief assistance is very slow is because communication networks are down in almost all the affected villages and it is very hard to make contact. 40 helicopter flights which costs approximately $1,250 US per hour have been sponsored by various members of the business community in the country and Suriname Airlines has offered to transport and deliver 1,000 kilos of aid freight to disaster zones.

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Anonymous UNICEF Child Alert Team said :

Support UNICEF: Help malnourished children in the Horn of Africa

This morning, UNICEF launched a Child Alert briefing on the Horn of Africa, documenting the current situation of children affected by the drought across Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti:

Rain is falling in East Africa, but too late to halt much of the devastation of six months of severe drought. Millions of pastoralists have seen their livelihoods wrecked. Tens of thousands of children are so weakened as to be at serious risk of dying.

You can help by posting a link to Child Alert: Horn of Africa on your blog, writing about it or telling us what you think at We'll send you a gif banner if you'd like to link to the multimedia site.

Thanks for helping,


Child Alert Team
Division of Communication
UNICEF, 3 UN Plaza
New York, NY 10017

15 May, 2006 13:20  

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