NATION

OFC, UNICEF Team Up For Cyclone Appeal

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have teamed up to raise funds for children affected by two recent devastating cyclones in the Pacific. From
11 Apr 2015 10:54
OFC, UNICEF Team Up For Cyclone Appeal
The Minister for National Disaster Management, Inia Seruiratu thanking the Fiji Corrections Service for their help. Photo: Kelera Sorokiwaqa

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have teamed up to raise funds for children affected by two recent devastating cyclones in the Pacific.

From March 11 to 14, Tropical Cyclone Pam, with winds moving from Category 1 up to Category 5, hit the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. At the same time, the cyclone caused high waves to crash over atoll islands in Kiribati and the Solomon Islands. The super cyclone is one of the worst natural disasters in South Pacific history.

A few weeks later, from 29-31 March 2015, Typhoon Maysak struck Micronesia, with terrible devastation to the Chuuk and Yap islands. The impact of these storms for children and their families is huge. In particular, children are at risk from diarrhoea, respiratory infections, fevers, vaccine preventable diseases and under nutrition.

Many schools were damaged, destroyed or temporarily occupied by people who lost their homes. Thus children and teachers need assistance to get back to school and learning, with special post-emergency psycho-social care to aid their recovery from trauma and loss.

UNICEF is reaching out through the 2015 Fiji Airways OFC Champions League, being held from April 11 to 26 in Fiji, to ask for support of the recovery for children and their families.

“The OFC Fiji Airways Champions League is one of the most popular competitions in our calendar and reaches a regional and global audience,” OFC president David Chung says.

“We are eager to capitalise on this audience to help support UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children, appealing for children affected by the Pacific Cyclone and Typhoon.”

UNICEF Pacific Representative Dr Karen Allen explains that the first wave of support from many kind people and governments has reached most, but not yet all, children. Continued support is required to keep life-saving aid going and, very importantly, to help parents, teachers and health care providers to properly care for children even as they struggle to rebuild their homes, gardens and livelihoods.

“UNICEF currently has about 65 per cent of the funds required to provide access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene, lifesaving health and nutrition interventions, education and protection. An additional US$2million is still needed,” Dr Allen said.

By calling for donations during the 2015 Fiji Airways OFC Champions League, with the help of popular music group Rako Pasifika, OFC and UNICEF hope to raise some of the additional funds required. All donations can be made at www.supportunicef.org/cyclonedonate

All donations made during the tournament will support UNICEF to ensure that affected children in Vanuatu receive healthcare and immunisation, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief, protection and more.

With partners such as OFC, the Ministry of Youth and Sport and the Australian and New Zealand Governments, UNICEF continues to work closely with the Governments of Micronesia, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu to support response efforts.

Feedback:  newsroom@fijisun.com.fj

 

 




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