April 26, 2010 —
Jenner Pascua is a production officer for unicefusa.org.
Here in New York the weather is less than favorable today. Rain? Isn’t it supposed to be spring? Then I thought about a recent photo distributed by UNICEF, and it made me realize how lucky we are even when the weather isn’t pleasant.
Today’s photo is from Mongolia, and shows a first grader walking home from school.
|© UNICEF/NYHQ2010-0432/Andrew Cullen
|A first-grade student walks several miles to her home after school in the district of Altai, in Khovd Province. A mountain range rises in front of her.
Last month Mongolia got hit hard with heavy snow, strong winds, and extreme cold. The weather was so extreme that 12 of the country’s 21 provinces were declared a state of disaster.
The crisis, known locally as a ‘dzud’, has killed at least nine children in one province, and has trapped many others in dormitories with failing heating systems and limited food supplies. Over 22,000 children in dormitories need emergency aid, and possibly thousands more.
UNICEF is responding by providing food, fuel, blankets, hygiene kits, medical supplies and boots to over 60,000 children, including those in dormitories and isolated villages. UNICEF is also collaborating with other United Nations agencies to supply hospitals and provide mobile medical teams in isolated areas.
Spring couldn’t come sooner for this region of the world. UNICEF is also sending blankets and supplies to neighboring China which recently experienced a 7.1 earthquake a few weeks ago.
Needless to say, I’m not complaining about the weather anymore. You can help by supporting UNICEF’s relief efforts in emergency situations.
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