UNICEF Steps Up Aid Distribution in Thailand

A U.S. Navy helicopter conducts an aerial survey of flooded areas in Thailand. Photo bu: Robert J. Maurer / U.S. Marine Corps

UNICEF is stepping up efforts to prevent the spread of communicable diseases in Thailand, one of several flood-hit countries in Southeast Asia.

The aid agency is distributing more than 300,000 hygiene and sanitation items that include bars of soap, water purification drops, hand sanitizers and garbage bags. While no outbreaks have been reported yet, the agency is already taking preventive measures through safe sanitation and improved hygiene practices, such as frequent hand-washing.

UNICEF is also supporting the establishment of “child-friendly spaces” in evacuation centers to provide children safe areas for recreation. This is to prevent further incidents of drowning among children in the country, which has risen to 77 in total.

“Children stranded in houses surrounded by water have no space to play, so they end up playing in the water,” Thailand UNICEF representative Tomoo Hozumi said.

Apart from these, the aid agency is distributing “school-in-a-box” kits containing teaching materials to some 1,000 schools in areas where floodwaters have started to recede, and pamphlets filled with information on how families can protect the health and well-being of their children.

The aid agency continues its appeal to donor agencies for funding in Thailand. It currently has $1.2 million for post-flood relief assistance in the areas of health, education, child protection and sanitation.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.