UNICEF: Radio is vital for communicating during emergencies

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Statement attributable to Director of Communication Paloma Escudero for World Radio Day, 13 February 2016

NEW YORK, 12 February 2016 – “There is no question of the value of radio when disasters occur. 

“The radio has been what we have turned to for generations when the world is falling apart –whether from war, from earthquake, from tsunami, or from disease outbreak. 

“During World War II, radio brought to our grandparents words of assurance from their leaders as well as information about what was happening on the battlegrounds. 

“Today, even with the explosion of new means of communication, radio remains a vital tool, available when broad-bands fail, or when the electricity goes in the wake of a disaster.  

“We use radio to bring lifesaving news, information and even education to people in those places that internet and television do not reach.

“When children were forced to stay home during the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, UNICEF used radio to bring them information about how to keep safe from infection. As schools were closed, we also brought them their lessons via radio so that they could keep up with their classes. 

“In the aftermath of natural disasters, such as the typhoons in the Philippines, or the earthquakes in Nepal, UNICEF used radio to inform parents about immunization drives, and to teach about the importance of hygiene and clean water. 

“In Gaza UNICEF uses radio to teach parents how to keep their children safe, reminding them about staying away from windows, taking cover when violence erupts. 

“So we welcome World Radio Day as a reminder that radio, the first mass communication medium, is still as vitally important in the 21st century as it was in the 20th.  

“And we encourage greater investment and attention to keeping radio alive around the world.”


WATCH Paloma Escudero speak about World Radio Day
In English
In Spanish


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.  For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:   

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Rita Ann Wallace, UNICEF New York, Tel: 1-212-326-7586, Mobile: 1-917-213-4034,