Press Release

Japan and the Netherlands Support UNFPA Efforts to Assist Tsunami Survivors

13 January 2005
Author: UNFPA

UNITED NATIONS, New York—Two new contributions for a total of $6.5 million will help UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, redouble its efforts to meet the health and psycho-social needs of survivors of the Indian Ocean tsunami, particularly women and youth. The contributions – $5.5 million by the Government of Japan and $1 million by the Government of the Netherlands – were announced this week.

“These generous amounts will go a long way in ensuring that the needs of women and youth – often ignored in the aftermath of natural disasters – are properly addressed,” said UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid. “We are extremely grateful to the Governments of Japan and the Netherlands for their continuous support to UNFPA, and for their quick response to our appeal to ensure the health, hygiene, protection and psych-social well-being of those displaced by the tsunami, particularly women, adolescents and children.”

More than 150,000 women are currently pregnant in the affected areas, of whom 50,000 would give birth during the next three months. Their chances of delivering in safe and clean conditions have been jeopardized by the damage to health facilities and loss of basic delivery care supplies.

To address these and other urgent needs, UNFPA last week appealed for $28 million to adequately help women and youth in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, the three hardest hit countries. The amount would be added to the $3 million that the Fund has already allocated for immediate response during the initial days of the disaster.

UNFPA is already providing clean home delivery medicines and equipment, as well as other life-saving reproductive health supplies, to the affected areas. In addition, UNFPA is monitoring and addressing sexual abuse and gender-based violence and exploitation, which often increase during periods of crisis.

UNFPA is also working with governments and local partners to address the psycho-social counseling needs of the survivors. This includes helping them deal with what they have been through and enable them to rebuild their lives and their communities. “This effort is extremely useful,” said Ms. Obaid, “particularly for many women who have lost their husbands in the disaster, and suddenly found themselves the sole providers for their households.”

***

 UNFPA is assisting governments and local populations in all the countries affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami. To support the Fund's emergency response to the disaster or learn more, please visit www.unfpa.org.

Contact Information:

David del Vecchio
Tel.: +1 (212) 297-4975
Cell Phone: +1 (917) 518-7743

Omar Gharzeddine
Tel.: +1 (212) 297-5028
Email: gharzeddine@unfpa.org

Japan
Population : 126.5 mil
Fertility rate
1.4
Maternal Mortality Ratio
5
Contraceptives prevalence rate
47
Population aged 10-24
13.7%

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