Reach Out To Asia supports UNICEF's emergency operation in Bangladesh

Summary: 
 UNICEF welcomed today a USD 200,000 donation from Qatar based NGO, Reach Out To Asia (ROTA); the first donation from Qatar and the Gulf to help UNICEF alleviate the suffering of the children victims of Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh.

UNICEF welcomed today a USD 200,000 donation from Qatar based NGO, Reach Out To Asia (ROTA); the first donation from Qatar and the Gulf to help UNICEF alleviate the suffering of the children victims of Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh.

Six days after the Cyclone wreaked massive destruction on the southern coastline of Bangladesh and wiped out thousands of villages leaving over 3 million families homeless, the death toll today is nearing 3,500 people. Nearly half of the affected population is children, out of which an estimated 400,000 are under the age of five.

Thousands of houses, public buildings, schools and roads were totally damaged. So far, more than 792 schools have been completely destroyed and around 4,393 partially damaged.

"It is a timely and much appreciated humanitarian gesture from ROTA that recognizes the need for immediate intervention to prevent thousands of children who lost their homes and fled their villages from missing out on school" said Dr. Ayman Abu Laban, UNICEF Gulf Area Representative.

In the aftermath of Cyclone Sydr, UNICEF remains on the ground providing relief support to women and children in the areas of health, water and sanitation, nutrition, child protection and education.

UNICEF is also supporting the government to reestablish cold chain and replenish vaccine supplies to address the event of imminent disease outbreak. Similarly, UNICEF has taken action to provide long-term psychosocial support to 30,000 children in the 6 most affected districts.

The donation by ROTA will allow UNICEF to provide safe learning spaces to thousands of children in 21 affected districts. It will also ensure the reintegration of children in their communities following the trauma that they had to cope with. This significant contribution is part of ROTA's determined efforts since its foundation in November 2005 to secure access to quality education to every man, woman and child across the Asian continent

Omnia Nour, Director of ROTA, commented: "The recent devastation in Bangladesh has affected millions of people, leaving homes, communities, schools and infrastructure heavily damaged. ROTA is committed to the relief effort and alongside UNICEF, our aim is to rebuild these communities and schools. This donation is just the first step towards these efforts. We are trying to establish a return to normalcy and to get children back to school."

The estimated funding requirements for UNICEF's immediate needs amount to USD 2,355,000. Funding requirements will be revised upon assessment of damage and assistance needs on the ground.