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Author Archives: Alisa Aydin, UNICEF USA

Pakistan flooding leaves children at risk

One million people–many of them children–have been affected by recent flooding in Pakistan.

CNN is now reporting that monsoon rains predicted for Monday could complicate rescue and recovery efforts.

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Thursday video: Marcus Samuelsson wins Top Chef for UNICEF

The foodies among us have been paying especially close attention to Bravo’s Top Chef Masters this season, because our favorite chef, UNICEF Ambassador Marcus Samuelsson has been slicing and dicing for the UNICEF Tap Project.

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Thursday video: celebration and solemnity at the UNICEF USA Annual Meeting

Alisa Aydin is part of the interactive team at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

Last week I was in Chicago for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s Annual Meeting. I’ve been hard-pressed since then to write a “wrap-up” post (we promised one in our Twitter coverage) that would capture the learning and the comaraderie that was shared.

I’ll start by recalling the intense emotion that bookended the event. First, there was the joy sparked by The Brown Sisters gospel performance — a rousing kick-off for all of us. But we left the meeting on a more somber note — reminded by CNN’s Soledad O’Brien and UNICEF’s Susan Bissell that among the hundreds of thousands of children affected by the Haiti earthquake are some 300,000 orphans who had already been abandoned or sold by their parents before the quake struck.

So we’re offering a double feature for this week’s Thursday video. Here’s a clip from the CNN documentary “Rescued.”

Now that you’ve raised your awareness, how about raising your spirits?


We also heard from UNICEF’s Representatives in Ethiopia, Swaziland and Ghana, who shared startling statistics and the tailored, country-specific approach that UNICEF takes to address the causes of preventable deaths in each unique environment.

We celebrated with corporate and NGO partners and volunteers from the programs and campaigns that raised funds to support UNICEF’s lifesaving work.

On the eve of its 60th anniversary, we learned the true origins of the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign that has been and still is so often the first volunteer experience for children in the United States.

There were also sessions on HIV/AIDS and maternal and child health. A session on U.S. initiatives addressed the range of domestic programs through which our education, advocacy and fundraising is effected.

It was a busy, eventful, and too-short gathering. It was also a great way to show our partners and supporters the strides we are making together to improve child survival and to motivate us all to keep up the pace to improve the lives we have worked to save.

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Earthquake in China



CNN is reporting a 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck the Qinghai province of China at 7:49 a.m. local time (7:49 p.m. ET Tuesday), when schools were beginning the day. The death toll has risen to 400 and could rise further.

Children are the most vulnerable population in any natural disaster, and UNICEF is there for them. UNICEF’s disaster relief in the aftermath of the 2008 earthquake reached children in the Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces.

We’ll share news on the current situation for children as we receive it here on Fieldnotes. In the meantime, if you would like to make a donation to support emergency relief for children caught in disasters around the world, you can do so online here.

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Earthquake in Indonesia

— CNN is reporting a 7.7-magnitude quake has struck off the coast of Indonesia, triggering two tsunamis.

Children are always the most vulnerable population in any natural disaster, and UNICEF is there for them. We’ll share news as we receive it here on Fieldnotes.

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Earthquake in Chile

CNN is reporting that a major 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck Chile overnight.

Children are the most vulnerable population in any natural disaster, and we will keep you posted on UNICEF’s response to this emergency as new comes in.

In the meantime, if you would like to to support UNICEF’s relief efforts for children caught in emergencies like this one, please click here to donate now.

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