The United Nations Foundation announced today its commitment of $5 million to United Nations tsunami initiatives that will strengthen the UN’s rapid response capabilities in the three hardest hit countries, build critical communications and logistics capacities, and support the UN’s aid coordination role.
Working closely with its direct UN counterpart, the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP), the UN Foundation is also partnering with a number of corporations, foundations, and donors around the world to support these immediate and second state rehabilitation efforts of the United Nations. The UN Foundation partnership with the International Community Foundation (ICF) has already resulted in $300,000 in donations which will be used to support relief coordinators on the ground in the affected areas. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has also donated $300,000 to the UN Foundation to be used by the UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) for medical services and health facilities in the affected regions.
In addition, the UN Foundation established the Tsunami Relief Fund to raise funds in support of the UN’s emergency relief, reconstruction, and rehabilitation efforts. The UN Foundation will match funds raised by UN Staff as well as donations made by its employees and employees of all of Turner’s philanthropies and Turner Enterprises (www.tedturner.com). To learn more about the Fund and the UN’s relief work, visit www.unfoundation.org.
“The generosity of the immediate response from around the world has been truly inspirational. But as Secretary-General Annan has made clear, the reconstruction and rehabilitation effort will require resources and commitment for years to come. This is why we are working with our partners to develop innovative partnerships that focus on both the short-term and long-term rebuilding that lies ahead,” said Ted Turner, Founder and Chairman of the UN Foundation.
“Our funds will focus on three needs the UN has identified: rapid response efforts by existing UN coordinators in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Maldives to get aid and recovery moving even before the global aid arrives; supporting the essential communication and logistics work of UNICEF and the World Food Programme; and helping the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) with its essential relief coordination role,” said Senator Timothy E. Wirth, President of the UN Foundation.
A portion of the $5 million from the UN Foundation will go directly to the ground to provide financial assistance for UN relief coordinators so they may meet the immediate needs of tsunami victims. The remaining funds will be used to finance a range of second stage rehabilitation needs. They include: stabilizing health delivery systems; creating sustainable finance programs for home and business reconstruction; ensuring water and sanitation restoration in areas where the systems were severely destroyed or damaged; and strengthening UN communications capabilities for first responders.
The UN, working closely with a number of countries, has been managing an unprecedented international relief effort. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland are managing hundreds of UN staff around the globe who have: provided basic drugs and supplies for three million people, including 1.5 million children; delivered 400 tons of shelter materials for 100,000 people left homeless in Indonesia; transferred thousands of tons of food distributed by the World Food Programme to support millions of survivors; supplied millions of water purification tablets and emergency health kits; registered unaccompanied children to prevent child trafficking; and provided psychological support and accommodation to children in need.
“The world needs the UN’s leadership, and the UN needs the world’s support,” said Turner.
The United Nations Foundation was created in 1998 with businessman and philanthropist R.E. Turner’s historic gift to support UN causes. The United Nations Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the United Nations and its Charter. Through its grantmaking and by building new and innovative public-private partnerships, the United Nations Foundation acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socioeconomic,
and environmental challenges of the 21st century.