UNICEF partners with Jamaica Red Cross in disaster relief to rescue children

Approximately eight persons including children were rescued from drowning in water that flooded their homes on July 7, 2005 with the passage of Hurricane Dennis.
Red Cross search and rescue volunteers visited and rescued four persons including a three year old and a mother in an advanced stage of pregnancy from Sydenham Villa, three from White Waters and an elderly man from Willowdene, all communities in the parish of St. Catherine. The water levels were between five to ten feet.

In addition to benefiting from search and rescue efforts by the Red Cross, the residents of these communities along with other communities in other parishes benefited from the distribution of food packages made possible by UNICEF.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has partnered with the Jamaica Red Cross to provide drinks and food items to over 1500 children in some 1000 families.

The parishes included in this venture are St. Thomas , St. Mary, Portland, St. Catherine, Clarendon and St. Andrew which sustained the most damage from the disaster. "We glad to know that somebody care" exclaimed a resident of one of the communities which have received assistance.

According to Director General of the Jamaica Red Cross, Yvonne Clarke, "the support we have received from UNICEF has enabled us to assist those most vulnerable especially the children. Indeed this partnership has allowed for both our missions to be fulfilled, that of the Red Cross to improve the lives of the most vulnerable and that of UNICEF for every child health, education, equality, protection."

UNICEF has also supported other agencies as well such as the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and the Ministry of Health in their efforts to assist those affected by Hurricane Dennis.