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A convoy of trucks, escorted by armed UN peacekeepers, delivered biscuits, salt, beans, wheat, cooking utensils and plastic sheeting for shelter. Throughout 2006, UNICEF helped demobilize and reintegrate children used by armed groups and forces by providing education, recreation and counselling to former fighters, and counselling, medical care and vocational skills to girls and women who had been sexually exploited.

Within 24 hours after Java (Indonesia) was rattled by an earthquake, UNICEF was there to provide devastated communities with safe water, sanitation and hygiene kits. Within three days, children were playing and receiving psychosocial support in child protection centres, and less than two weeks later, students were being schooled in UNICEF-supplied tents.

At the beginning of the conflict in southern Lebanon in July 2006, UNICEF collaborated with the Lebanese Red Cross to deliver crucial


assistance to displaced children and families in hard-to-reach areas. Later on, UNICEF aided non-governmental organizations’ mobile primary health and immunization clinics, and child-friendly recreation and psychosocial programmes. UNICEF also supported a major ‘Back-to-School’ drive and mine-risk education initiatives.

Turning catastrophe into triumph has been the goal of UNICEF’s rebuilding process in countries ravaged by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Throughout India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Thailand, communities have ‘built back better’. In the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India, for example, doctors, nurses and anganwadi (childcare) workers, were trained in the Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses strategies. UNICEF also helped establish a Sick Newborn Care Unit to provide tertiary care to infants. In Malaysia, trauma recovery work is conducted with children and adolescents through arts and leadership workshops.

In 2006, UNICEF appealed for $1.2 billion to ensure the protection of women and children in 53 emergencies. Not quite half that sum was raised by November, leaving UNICEF to respond only to the most urgent needs of children and women in crisis. With a commitment to humanitarian relief reform, UNICEF has set out to better predict and respond to emergencies. Along with other agencies, UNICEF has implemented the ‘cluster approach’, a collaboration between service providers, in Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Lebanon, Liberia, Somalia and Uganda. As longtime leader of the global cluster of UN agencies for nutrition, water and sanitation, and for common data services, and now as a partner in developing a global education cluster, UNICEF will continue to strengthen its humanitarian response and follow its Core Commitments For Children in Emergencies.

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