Clinton, UNICEF Set Up "Tsunami Water and Sanitation Fund"

Jan. 10, 2005

Calling it a critical next phase of the tsunami relief effort, former U.S. President Bill Clinton has announced the creation of the “Tsunami Water and Sanitation Fund.”

The initiative, conducted jointly with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), targets children who make up at least one third of the population in the most devastated countries and are most vulnerable to water-borne diseases.

The goal of the fund is to raise $45 million dollars to provide safe water supplies for the survivors in South Asia. This announcement comes as relief workers face new problems overseas from heavy rains and strong aftershocks.

“We decided to set up, through the U.S. fund through Unicef , a special tsunami and water sanitation fund. The money will be used by Unicef while working with others to make sure that we do everything we can to keep people alive,” says Clinton.

Hundreds of thousands of people who survived the floodwaters now face life-threatening illness. There are families with no place to go crowd and they crowd into temporary camps. They are also plagued by unhygienic conditions with contaminated water supplies.

The "Tsunami Water and Sanitation Fund" is a fund-raising effort through the Clinton Foundation to bring safe sanitation and drinking systems to the ravaged area.

“It will not be easy. Water systems have been destroyed, clogged and polluted with seawater. Establishing safe water systems is essential to the recovery of the communities involved,” says Carol Bellamy, Unicef executive director.

President Clinton said that he and his wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton made the first donations to that fund. He now urges all Americans to make donations to the fund as well.

Source: CBS News